Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell first met at nursery school (not theirs, but the one their sons went to) and decided to work together. They are now the very funny and very talented author and illustrator of more then twenty books for children, including THE EDGE CHRONICLES, BLOBHEADS and MUDDLE EARTH. 

Chris Riddell also writes and illustrates Macmillan's award-winning and captivating OTTOLINE young fiction series, as well as cartoons for the Observer.

Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: Chris: Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, and the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula le Guin.
A: Paul: Alice Through the Looking-Glass, The Phantom Tollbooth and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: Chris: Bilbo Baggins.
A: Paul: Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk.

Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: Chris: The feel and smell of books, rather than kindles, which just smell of plastic.
A: Paul: Immersing myself in another, more wonderful, world.

Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: Chris: The Gormenghast Trilogy.
A: Paul: The Complete Grimms' Fairy Tales.

Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: Paul: Talking with them about everything, from fantasy worlds to the real world.
A: Chris: Telling them stories.

Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: Paul: To be honest, they didn't. I suspect they both wanted me to have a nice secure job in a bank.
A: Chris: They provided me with endless reams of paper, pencils and art materials of all sorts.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read?
A: Paul: Making the books I read to them fun. Both my kids loved the Borrowers and we played all sorts of games in the garden and with the doll's house, re-enacting the various scenes.
A: Chris: Reading together at bedtimes, a chapter a night. We particularly enjoyed Rosemary Sutcliff's historical novels, especially The Eagle of the Ninth and Knight's Fee.

Read more author interviews here.

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