‘Read it, Daddy!’ interviews Story Seekers

This week over at the ‘Read it, Daddy!‘ blog the theme is ‘Brilliant Book Bloggers’ and today he’s featuring an interview with me :-)

It was really great to be included, especially as part of such an esteemed group – the other bloggers featured are:

- Leyla from ‘This Day I Love

- Mélanie from ‘Library Mice

- Carmen from ‘Rhino Reads

- Anne-Marie from ‘Child-Led Chaos

- Catherine from ‘Story Snug‘ (technical difficulties allowing…)

Leyla’s blog is new to me and I’m very much looking forward to reading more.  The others are all blogs I visit regularly, as well as chatting with their authors on Twitter, and I can highly recommend each one – along, of course, with Phil: ‘Read it, Daddy!’ himself!

Just in case you missed it, here is my interview (with kind permission of ‘Read it, Daddy!’).

ReadItDaddy: Tell us your blog’s name and who you are.

I’m Loll Kirby and my blog is Story Seekers, which can be found at www.storyseekers.co.uk

ReadItDaddy: How long have you been blogging for?

I set up the Story Seekers blog at the end of May 2012, though I didn’t really post very much until a few months later. It’s my very first blog so it’s taken me a while to find my feet with it all and to decide what I want the blog to be (actually, I’m still deciding that!).

ReadItDaddy: What’s on your book stack this week (childrens / grown up books count) ?

My goodness, that’s tricky – depends which stack you’re talking about! We’ve just received a copy of ‘Sidney, Stella and the Moon’, by Emma Yarlett and we’re loving that. I’m also re-reading ‘A Bit Lost’, by Chris Haughton and ‘The Foggy, Foggy Forest’, by Nick Sharratt in preparation for a storytelling session I’m running next week.

I’m about to review four books that are making us happy on a daily basis for the blog – the ‘Emily Brown’ books by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton. I’m also hoping to review the ‘Olivia’ books by Ian Falconer and the ‘Bugs’ books by Beatrice Alemagna, as well as ‘Naughty Bus’, by Jan and Jerry Oke.
I doubt I’ll get all that done but they’re on my pile nonetheless!
ReadItDaddy: Give a very brief summary of why you think books are important to children…Because reading books opens the doors to everything else in life. They can make you happy, help you understand sadness and encourage you to dream bigger than you might otherwise dare to hope. It’s wonderful to read by yourself, snuggled up with a loved one or in a bigger group for discussion. There are enough books in the world for everyone to find stories that they love and I hope to do as much as I can to to make sure that as many children as possible grow up with a love for books and reading.ReadItDaddy: If you had to name one booky person as your complete and utter book-idol (Writer, Illustrator, Publisher etc) who would it be and why?

My granny would be my ultimate book hero as she gave me my love of reading, but in terms of someone with whom everyone is familiar I’d probably go for Sir Quentin Blake. Obviously he is most famous for his collaboration with Roald Dahl, but he’s illustrated for other wonderful authors and has written and illustrated his own books as well. He has taught illustration to others and was the first Children’s Laureate. Most admirably, he is still working in his eighties – what a legend! His drawing style seems so relaxed and comfortable which just draws you in and the books he worked on were such a huge feature of my own childhood.

ReadItDaddy: Name 5 books you think everyone should have in their book case (childrens OR adult book, or a mix if you like!)I’m going to stick to children’s books, I think – mainly to narrow the field a little bit, but also because my aim with Story Seekers is to encourage reading for pleasure from birth and these are books that I think would be brilliant to share in those magical early years.They’re all very well known and very well loved already, but I can’t imagine a childhood without them. I could probably have chosen any book by these authors and illustrators and you’d have been onto a winner, but I’ve stuck rigidly to the rules and limited myself to just the allotted total of five!

  • ‘Dogger’, by Shirley Hughes – this definitely reminds me of my own childhood and I’m so glad that my children love it as much as I do. It’s a heartwarming and sniffle-inducing story about the loss of a favourite toy and an incredibly noble act on the part of a sibling. Book perfection.
  • ‘Owl Babies’, by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson – I love owls and the illustrations in this book are simply gorgeous. However, I’ve also chosen it as it was the first book that really made me see how powerful stories are in helping children to deal with new and potentially scary things. When C started pre-school he was understandably unhappy with me leaving him. We read this book many times a day and even now I know it by heart, so every time I picked him I would swoop him up in a huge hug and say, “And she came!” (referring to when the mummy owl returns to her babies in the book). I could see how genuinely comforting this was for C and it helped us both with the transition.
  • ‘You Choose’, by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt – this isn’t a book that was around when I was little, but both my sons have got SO much out of it. There are very few words, a multitude of pictures and an infinite number of possibilities for your imagination to go wild. One of the very best books for creating your own stories.
  • ‘Matilda’, by Roald Dahl – a determined and delightful little girl who believes in the power of books, an amazing teacher and a little dose of magic to help her escape some pretty horrid things.  This book made me feel super cool for being a bookworm :-)
  • ‘Peepo’, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – this is one of the first books I remember being in my own bookcase as a child and was among the first that I read to myself (actually it was to my doll, Sally) once I got going with reading. I then read it to both my children whilst I was pregnant with them and then from the moment they were born. Timeless and wonderful.

I really enjoyed thinking about these questions, even though I always find choosing favourite books really hard.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about your favourite books, so please do comment :-)

TTFN

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8 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this – what a great interview! It’s nice to read we both started at the same sort of time too (birthday celebrations coming up). Matilda is one of my favourites too – she’s a fantastic character and the book has all the best ingredients.

    1. I clocked the shared starting time when I was reading your posts about being featured in The Telegraph (along with the unfortunate errors) and thought it was lovely we’d both been going about the same time. Maybe we should do a joint post of some kind to celebrate?!
      And P.S. Huge congrats on the aforementioned feature – you and Holly are superstars :-)

      1. Thanks for the congrats, and yes we’d love to do a joint feature. Let’s put our heads together and come up with something!

      2. Excellent – really looking forward to it! Will be in touch soon.

  2. Tracy Kewley · · Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this. Loll, you will know from my comments on your Pinterest board that many of your favourite books are among my favourites too. But reading your top five struck me like an electric shock. Dogger and Matilda would definitely be in my top five and if Owl Babies and You Choose weren’t in my top five they’d certainly be in my top ten. How uncanny, when there are so many amazing books around, that we should hone in on the same titles.

    1. Great minds think alike ;-)
      It is great that we have such similar tastes and I’ll definitely be coming to you for more book recommendations in the future! What are you enjoying at the moment?

  3. Hi there. Sorry for the late reply (I’ve been out of action with some horrid eye-related illness). Well, my children are a bit older than yours – seven and five – and they’ve just discovered Famous Five so we’re enjoying a bit of an Enid Blyton fest at the moment. They’ve gone Famous Five crazy and always beg me to carry on reading at the end of the chapter. It’s lovely to see. I didn’t read that many Famous Fives when I was little so I’m really enjoying the stories too. A couple of Sundays ago we read 70 pages in one go and didn’t get out of bed until 10.30! Whoops.

    I still make sure we read lots of picture books though. One of my daughter’s favourites at the moment is Ahmed and the Feather Girl by Jane Ray. It’s a beautiful book. And my son loves the Jonny Duddle books. I read your review of King of Space. It’s lots of fun and I love the illustrations but I’m a bit concerned about Rex’s dictatorial nature and I’m not sure I like the character that much. (I know, I’m taking it too seriously!) Pirates Next Door is still my favourite of Jonny Duddle’s I think.

    Another book that my daughter and I really enjoyed recently was Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell (again, one for slightly older children). It was like nothing I’d ever read before and the the story really bounced along through a brilliant combination of words and pictures. Will definitely be buying more Ottoline books.

    A final random one to throw in the pot (then I MUST get on with my work)… do you know Millie’s Marvellous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura? I like books that are just a little bit different and this one is just that – quirky, creative and very cute.

  4. Thank you for mentioning me. I’m a huge fan of the book matilda too. Roald Dahl is one of my favourite authors and I canno wait for the girls to discover his books

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