I love books. As a kid I was a voracious reader and I read and read and read. Much to the despair of my loving parents who would often try to get me to do something else, anything else, to no avail! I used to read books walking home from school while eating an ice-cream. During high school Maths lessons I would balance a book on one knee under the desk and read a few pages in between solving quadratic equations. My nose was pretty much permanently stuck in a book. Not much has changed really!
Everyone used to ask me if I was going to be a librarian when I grew up. The answer was always a resounding, "No!" I just loved opening the pages of a book and being transported to another world. And I still do.
Even though I am all grown up (ahem), I still love reading and my favourite genre is still children's literature. There is something beautiful and comforting about stories written for children. They have a gentleness to them that is often lacking in adult fiction. Now that I have children, I happily spend lots of time with them at the local library, sharing my favourites and discovering new authors. We always come home with bulging book bags.
I am passionate about good writing for children. What goes into their brains is as important as what goes into their mouths. When they read badly written books it is the same as eating junk food. There's the initial euphoric rush followed by the disappointed crash. When my oldest daughter was little I was really strict about the books she could borrow. My pet peeves are sloppy illustrations and books with animals dressing up as people (Don't get me started, we could be here all year!).
As she has grown, I have relaxed a bit. It was reading this interview about books and libraries with British author Neil Gaiman that let me give her the freedom to choose her own books. Regrettably she is currently in the midst of a badly written fairy series obsession. My solution? Borrow the children's books I love and read them each night to her as a bedtime story. Then we can have the best of both worlds!