Which genre of children’s books do you like most and why?
I just love children’s picture books. I love the way the words and pictures are read together to tell the story. Every word must count and not be there merely for decoration. Love it! One of my favourite picture books is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak which I discovered when I was about six. I love every word in this book and its timelessness. Another of my favourites is Wombat Divine by Mem Fox which I discovered when I was in my twenties. Wombat is one of the most lovable characters I’ve ever met in a book.
Which books did you love to read as a young child?
Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Dr Seuss books, especially Yertle the Turtle. I would borrow these books quite a lot from the school library and my mother would complain, “Not again!” Now of course, I have my own copies of these books.
Which three attributes make for a great children’s book?
I believe in emotion, suspense and humour, for example – Where the Wild Things Are.
What is your number one tip for encouraging children to read?
Read books with topics that interest you.
Name three books you wish you’d written.
Where the Wild Things Are, Wombat Divine and Goodnight Moon.
My sixth grade teacher gave the class an assignment of creating a picture book. I loved the entire process. The seed of being a writer was planted there but I only started writing seriously in my mid twenties. I spent about four years doing external writing courses. After I’d finished, I was extremely fortunate to be mentored by the wonderful Ann James. My new books released this year are With Nan, Millie’s Special Something, What Makes My Mum Happy and What Makes My Dad Happy.