Reading for Pleasure

I’ve been having a nail biting, train zooming, speed-writing, brain tingling time recently. Deadlines have loomed and been achieved – hurrah!

Hay Festival talk went brilliantly – hurrah – (even though my dogs who’d been given special dispensation to come along too decided to lie in muddy puddles just before and had to be washed off with bought bottled water from the Co-op.)

And this week I got final edits done and lots of emails from my website replied to whilst on the train up to Manchester to talk to teachers and student teachers with 3 other brilliant authors and illustrators: Andy Seed, Kate Pankhurst and Jon Mayhew about Reading for Pleasure. We were invited by the lovely Nikki Gamble from Just Imagine – hurrah!

Reading for pleasure is so much fun that it’s sad to think sometimes for some people it isn’t. I love rainy days when I can cuddle up with a good book and be transported into another world. It’s just the best. I especially used to like Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle as a comfort book whenever I caught a cold.

But my favourite book of all time is Charlotte’s Web. It was read and re-read more than once when I had whooping cough as a child and had a whole term off school. Every week my mum would bring me back all the books she could from the library and I went from a non-reader at the start of my illness to a child with the reading bug by the end.

I think Charlotte’s web was the first time I truly identified with an animal character. Wilbur is such an ordinary little pig and I knew I was very much an ordinary little girl – not the prettiest or the cleverest not the fastest at running or best at singing. But I could still be amazing just like Wilbur with a little help from my friends and some get up and go from myself.

The friendship between the two characters touched me deeply but the knowledge that you don’t have to extra-ordinary to be valued and loved remained with me always.

I used to be frightened of spiders before I met Charlotte in the book. Once I’d met her I never looked at spiders in the same way again!

A few weeks ago I was at the Shrewsbury Book Award and the children were so passionate and knowledgable about the short-listed books – it was so exciting. They even made book trailers.


I just love it! 🙂


Do you have a special book or books that you love? Comfort books, re-read a hundred times books or just discovered and exciting new ones?

Thumbs up to the brand new reading group for 8-12’s  @suttonlibrary that launched last Saturday. Hope you all had a brilliant time 🙂

Off to Canada Water library today for the Southwark critics choice award ceremony. 🙂