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A love of fiction can be Hobbit-forming
6:00pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
ILLUSTRATOR and author David Melling, right, was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Book Award. Before becoming an internationally-acclaimed and best-selling author and illustrator he worked as a photographer and as an animation artist for films, including Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. He was born in Oxford and still lives near the city with his wife and two children. He is the latest literary figure to back the Oxfordshire Reading Campaign, saying "the worlds that stories can transport the mind to are essential to a child’s imagination”.
What was your favourite book as a child?
I still have my well-thumbed copy of The Hobbit. I can’t remember how many times I read it, but even aged 10 I remember being amazed and in awe at how the words on the page took me to another magical place.
Which children’s book moved you the most?
Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson. I loved reading stories about animals, and lived and breathed their lives! I was very sad at the end.
What do you like reading to your children?
My son and I enjoy reading the Captain Underpants books at the moment. He thinks they’re hilarious and we have a good giggle every night.
Why is it important that children read?
To stimulate the imagination which I think is so important today, at a time when children are presented with the type and variety of entertainment that often requires little more than staring at a screen.
Where’s the most unusual place you’ve read a book?
I have a silly habit of reading while I’m walking, usually on my way into town. Once I reach the High Street I’ll stop. I don’t trust myself not to bump into something or someone.
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