Chloe Daykin

What books did you read when you were a child?
When I was really little I loved Funny Bones (and all the Janet & Allan Ahlberg books), Michael Rosen’s poems and pop up books like Robots by Jan Pienkowski. I then moved up to Ramona Quimby by Beverly Clearly and the Judy Blume books!

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I think I would be someone in a Shirley Hughes book, her worlds are so full of joy and beautiful friendliness. So I reckon I might be Dogger, because that family looks like a lovely place to live.

I’d also love to be Maya from Journey to the River Sea or Roald Dahl’s Matilda as they are both so bold!

What is the best thing about reading?
Entering new worlds, discovering things, delight in words and people - seeing things in a new way! I love reading aloud and that we all get to go on an adventure together when that happens.

What is your all time favourite book?
It’s so tricky to pick just one! Ooph! I have different books for different days depending on how I’m feeling. Hmm. Well I read Ramona Quimby at age 8 so many times when I was little I broke the spine, so maybe it’s that one!

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Playing! I think that’s really important, we often forget the fun of play and how much we learn by doing it, both ways round. Drawing is also great and making comic strips together.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My parents read me lots of books when I was little and I really appreciated it. I think that’s where it starts, with a love of books and stories. Plus my Dad wrote a funny Christmas story about me and my sister which we loved!

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I read aloud to our family so we all enjoy it together - it feels like a great wind down at the end of the day, whatever’s happened we all come together in the story. Some of our favourites lately have been: The Murderer’s’ Ape by Jakob Wegelius, One by Sarah Crossan, The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, My Name is Mina by David Almond and Keeper by Mal Peet.

Chloe Daykin is an author, illustrator and teacher from Northumberland where she lives with her husband, two boys and three cats. She loves an unusual adventure and is a fan of all things fun, poetic and surprising.

Fish Boy - ‘a talking mackerel changes everything’ - is her first novel, illustrated by Richard Jones.

The Boy Who Hit Play - an epic Scandinavian road trip of cinnamon buns, self-discovery and death avoidance - is her second.

Read more author interviews here.

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