Last year I came across the book ‘Dinosaurs Love Underpants’ by Claire Freedman. Both of the boys are completely dino mad, so it made a great addition to our book collection and quickly became a bedtime favourite. I really like Claire Freedman’s writing style because it is very short, sharp and simple, making it great for younger children. Recently I managed to grab her for an interview, where we talk about the importance of reading to children, her inspiration and the challenges she faces as a writer.
Why do you feel it is important for parents and guardians to read with their children?
Aside from the enjoyment of sharing and togetherness whilst reading a book, reading with a child has been proven to be very beneficial in a child’s development. Besides it’s great fun!
What are you fondest memories of books and reading?
I clearly remember the first time I read a book, all by myself! I was around 4 years old and the book was The Cat in the Hat, by Dr Zeus. I was so delighted with myself I ran into my parents room and read it again to them!
What (or who) inspired you to become a writer?
I started a creative writing course about 20 years ago and our teacher had such a love of writing that she inspired me to write. I still go to that same writing group 20 years on!
Who is your favourite children’s author?
I love the Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne.
Out of your own children’s books, which is your favourite and why?
Aliens Love Underpants, because it change everything for me, as it became so successful.
For you, what do you think makes a successful children’s book?
A perfect marriage of text and illustration. Engaging characters and a good beginning, middle and end.
What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?
Thinking up new ideas. I have plenty of half written stories because I couldn’t come up with a great ending or storyline.
Tell me a little bit about your latest project?
My latest project is about a rabbit who wants to write his own story, and has all the ups and downs of imagination.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to continue writing books for as long as they can give children pleasure!
What advice would you give to aspiring children’s authors?
Everyone says this – read, read, read. But reading other books in the genre you want to write, really is the best way to hone your own writing skills.
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