ANDREW Norriss won The Whitbread Children's Book Award in 1997 for his book Aquila . He also adapted his books Bernard's Watch and Matt's Millions for ITV as well as co-writing the sitcom The Brittas Empire . He speaks to Esther Browning...


What was your favourite book when you were small and why did you love it?
"The first book I remember being given as a present was Peter Pan, and for a long time he was the person I most wanted to be and Neverland was the place I most wanted to go."

  • Which children’s book moved/inspired you the most?
    "I never found anything to match the seven Narnia books by CS Lewis . I still reread them all every few years, and find something new every time. I think I believed in Aslan before I believed in God. l What were the books you most enjoyed reading to your children? I remember ploughing through Postman Pat and Thomas the Tank Engine – which our boys loved but I didn’t. But there were gems like The Tiger Who Came to Tea (by Judith Kerr), or Each Peach Pear Plum (by Janet & Allan Ahlberg), that were so perfect."
  • Why do you believe it is important for children to read?
    "Reading is the basis of all education. I know schools are required to teach so many skills these days, but reading is worth more than all the others put together. Once your child can read fluently, you can stop worrying about how they’ll get on academically. They’ll do exactly as well as they want to."
  • What do you love about writing for children?
    "It’s the stories every time. You start thinking I wonder what would happen if… and you’re away. The ideas bubble up and you don’t know where from but you find yourself weaving the pattern and it is deeply, deeply satisfying. The next most satisfying thing is reading someone else’s story that works in exactly the way it should but without you needing to spend a year writing it."

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