What books did you read when you were a child?
I adored The Tiger Who Came To Tea (Judith Kerr) and Farmer Duck (Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury). When I was a bit older and could read by myself I loved the Famous Five books, and Winnie the Pooh.
If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
George Weasley from Harry Potter. He’s super funny, but also really kind, he can do magic and he runs a joke shop! What’s better than that?
What is the best thing about reading?
You get to live in a different world for a little bit.
What is your all time favourite book?
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, by Judith Kerr. It’s so exciting and happy and sad all at once. I like that you can learn about the Second World War during it even though it’s fiction. And even though it’s set in the olden days, the main character Anna and the things she goes through are very relatable.
Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Talk about things properly, ask their opinions about events they’ve been to or films they’ve seen or books they’ve read. Encourage them to draw, play and use their imagination.
How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A very big part. Writing went hand-in-hand with drawing as I grew up. I remember making a book before I started school so I couldn’t write yet, I drew all the pictures and mum wrote down the words exactly as I told them. We would write plays and mum would patiently watch them all, and she gave us a stack of continuous paper – A4 sheets all joined together in a concertina – and we made books and magazines out of them.
How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I don’t have children, but when I was younger I loved books I could join in with, for example Lullabyhullaballoo! By Mick Inkpen. Any book that had lots of different voices was brilliant too, my dad was very good at that.
Anna Doherty is a children’s book author and illustrator from Edinburgh. She studied Illustration BDes at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee and Children’s Book Illustration MA at Cambridge School of Art.
Anna is currently working on a mini-series of picture books for children featuring fantastically feminist women such as Michelle Obama, Ada Lovelace, The Brontës and Emma Watson (which will be published next year).
Her other books include Sticky, Fair Shares (written by Pippa Goodhart) and Big Ideas for Curious Minds (written by The School of Life).
She loves drawing, dogs, nachos and mustard yellow.