World Book Day Author and Illustrator Q & A: Meet Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet!

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World Book Day is nearly here!

The World’s biggest celebration of books and reading for pleasure is taking place on 5th March! Throughout World Book Day month (27th February to 29th March) we are celebrating the power of reading by challenging YOU to Share A Million Stories.

World Book Day Author-illustrators Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet join us to talk about their World Book Day plans and how they share stories. Why not take a look inside their World Book Day book Supertato: Books Are Rubbish?

SH= Sue Hendra

PL = Paul Linnet

What do you love about World Book Day?

SH: Everything! I love books, so have a day when we celebrate how amazing they are and get as many books into as many children hands as possible is a triumphantly wonderful thing. 

Why do you think sharing stories is so important?

SH : Helping children to forge a relationship with and a love of books and stories will undoubtedly be hugely beneficial to them in their lives. 

Stories help us to empathise with others, and in my experience sharing stories together can be a hugely bonding experience.

Also, it’s fun! When sharing stories with my daughter I try and forget about what’s happened that day, forget about what’s happening the day after, be in the moment, snuggle up, and step into another world with her- what could be better?

PL: Sharing a story Is a magic trick. Just using your voice and some carefully selected and arranged words one can waft images and ideas into minds. No computers, no screens, it’s far more hi-tech than those.

If you could share one story for 10 minutes, which one would you pick?

SH: Two nights ago, my daughter and I read ‘A Planet Full of Plastics’ which tells the story of plastic from its invention to where we are now. I think it’s an excellent book and I would appreciate the opportunity to share this story with others.

Who do you enjoy sharing stories with?

SH: Apart from with my daughter, I enjoy stories (by making them) with Paul Linnet which is brilliant because he often shares his stories with me, and he has brilliant ideas. Sometimes they have been so funny that tea has come out of my nose. I also love sharing stories with children when Paul and I go into schools.

PL: I enjoy sharing stories with my daughter. I’ve secretly always wanted to be an actor, so bedtime stories are my opportunity. I give a different voice for each character and really ham it up. Luckily, I have an appreciative audience although she does start to nod off after a bit. Hang on, that’s the idea isn’t it? Where’s my Oscar?

If you could share a story with anyone, who would that be?

SH: My daughter says there is a reading dog that visits her school. When she told me this I couldn’t resist making a terrible and unfunny joke about the dog doing the reading but after she gave me the raised eyebrow of disapproval (that I deserved) I thought about how lovely it would be to meet this dog, lay on a rug and read a story with her. 

Which book character would you most like to share a story with and why?

SH: There is book that I adore called ’The shrinking of Treehorn’ it’s by Florence Parry Heide. 

Treehorn is such a lovely character, he is ignored by his parents who are completely wrapped up in themselves. This treatment by his folks is heart-breaking to bear witness to yet the book is so charming and funny that our copy has been read numerous times; firstly by me as a child and then by me as a grown up sharing it with my daughter. I would love to sit under Treehorns money tree with him and share one of his comic books with him.   

PL: When I was a little boy (although I was never really little by little boy standards) I adored reading about the adventures of Tintin and his dog Snowy. My favourite character in the stories however was Captain Haddock. He was a salty old seadog who always ended up in some sort of mischief or other. I would like to sit down with him and hear his tales of the sea. I bet he could share stories that would make your toes laugh.

What will you be doing on World Book Day?

SH: On every day during the WBD week, Paul Linnet and I will be sharing our stories with children. Every day that is except WBD itself, perhaps I’ll read a book!