Emily Ford is the author of the children's picture book The Big Book Adventure. She lives in London.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Big Book Adventure?
A: The Big Book Adventure came out a conversation with a book-loving friend about our first experiences (that we can remember!) with books and storytelling and the joy of visiting the local library. With so many public libraries closing and constantly feeling under threat in the UK, I wanted to write something about loving and sharing books - a celebration of reading and of libraries too.
Q: What do you think Tim Warnes's illustrations add to the story?
A: I’m very lucky to have such a great illustrator responding to my words and Tim’s wonderful illustrations really do make the story. As with all picture books, the illustrations are integral and Tim’s brilliant and varied illustrations and his imaginative interpretation of the text, not to mention his charming and funny characters, add a richness and energy that makes this a story worth stepping into - and a journey the reader will hopefully want to be a part of. I hope the enthusiasm and joy of the two characters is infectious. I feel it is and that’s all thanks to Tim.
Q: What do you hope kids take away from the book?
A: That books can take you anywhere, they will feed your imagination, broaden your mind and expand your world - and that’s something worth shouting about. So if you love something, talk about it and share it. Especially if it’s a book!
Q: How did you choose the books and stories the characters read about? Are they favorites of yours?
A: I was spoilt for choice when it came to references for this idea, so I wrote more verses initially, to be sure I had plenty of variety, then I selected the strongest and the most fun! I don’t have a particular favourite amongst the stories referenced, but I do love a fairy tale (who doesn’t?) and when a story or concept is so widely known and understood you can have real fun playing with it.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I am working on a number of different stories and ideas at the moment and all are at different stages. But today I’m writing something about the sea, primarily because I wish I was by it and I’m not. I think this is my way of coming to terms with the fact that I’m in the middle of a busy city on a very hot and sticky day.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I’m currently reading book after book by Eva Ibbotson - all copies that have been shared with me and I will absolutely pass on. If you haven’t read anything by her then do, because you’re in for a treat.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb