Today I am very honoured to be part of the Red House Children’s Book Award 2014 Blog tour – the only national book awards voted for entirely by children. Owned and run by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups and sponsored by Red House it awards fantastic authors for children of all ages every year. This years artwork as seen below was created by Lee Wildish one of last years winners and has been specially created for the awards.
As our stop on the blog tour we’re very excited to welcome Tony Ross and Jeanne Willis authors of Hippospotamus and finalists in the Young Children Category to Rainy Day Mum and hand it over to them to find out more.
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What were you favourite picture books as a child?
Tony Ross: Rupert, every Christmas.
Jeanne Willis: I can only remember one- it was called “Bunnies In The Jam ” but apart from the jammy cover it was a bit dull. There didn’t seem to be many picture books around during the ice age when I was a little girl- I was read to from longer books eg Winnie the Pooh, Paddington and Enid Blyton, Old Possums Book of Practical Cats.
What are the books(s) that made you want to be an illustrator/author?
Tony: Don Quixote by Dore, and Where the Wild Things Are.
Jeanne: I just assumed I was an author from the age of five and no one said I wasn’t, so I just carried on. No particular book inspired me to become one – I must have been born that way – but the books I liked gave me an ear for the rhythm of words – I liked them as play things and still do.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Tony: When a teenager, I was at a dance, and at one point, had to roll my trouser legs up. I hadn’t washed my knees after an afternoon of football.
Jeanne: There are too many. Probably farting after the music stopped whilst playing musical bumps at a party when I was six.
What are you favourite comfort reads (adult or children’s books)?
Tony: Adrian Mole, all of them.
Jeanne: Paddington Bear, The Land of Green Ginger and Peter Pan.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Tony: Eating the chocolate things off the Christmas tree, then re-arranging the foil to look as if they were still there.
Jeanne: If I told you that I would have to kill you.
What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Tony: The Scarlet Pimpernel
Jeanne: Snow Queen
What would your super power be?
Tony: To fly.
When did you last cry, and why?
Tony: Two years ago, when I was told my cat was blind. (She’s OK)
Jeanne: When I read Peter Pan again – gets me every time.
How do you relax?
Tony: I don’t.
Jeanne: I dig holes.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Tony: Learning to swim.
Jeanne: Staying alive.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Tony: Good times are ALWAYS around the corner.
Jeanne: That death is inevitable and double maths sucks.
What is/are the picture book(s) every child should own?
Tony: Not Now Bernard by David McKee and The Sad Book by Michael Rosen & Quentin Blake. Oh, and naturally, all of mine.
Jeanne: One of mine.
“Hippospotamus” has been shortlisted in the younger children category of the Red House Children’s Book Award 2014. The Red House Children’s Book Award is the only national children’s book award voted for entirely by children. It is owned and co-ordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, and sponsored by Red House.
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