Zanna Davidson

What books did you read when you were a child?
Lots of books! My all-time favourites were Beatrix Potter, Edward Lear’s Nonsense Poetry, anything by Dick King-Smith and Noel Streatfield, and Charlotte’s Web.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Peter Rabbit. He does it all – goes on an adventure, gets into a scrape and escapes. He may not get bread and milk and blackberries, but I’ve always loved the sound of the nice soft sand on the floor of the burrow.

What is the best thing about reading?
It opens up new worlds.

What is your all-time favourite book?
Hilda Boswell’s Treasury of Poetry.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Tell them stories. Everything can be made into a story.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
They were always encouraging – especially my mum, who wrote down my stories before I could write.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I find out what they enjoy, rather than forcing my favourites onto them. I still read to them and also spend time reading in front of my children, so they can see how much I enjoy it! They’ve eventually got the hint and started to read when I’m reading.

Zanna Davidson is a children’s writer for Usborne. She’s written about everything from the Queen to snails to fairy ponies. She is currently writing more books about Billy and the Mini Monsters, out now in paperback, and is deep in the world of Sticker Dolly Stories.

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