Dan Green

What books did you read when you were a child?
The books I remember best were fiction – Roald Dahl’s stories, Jack the Giant Killer and the Three Musketeers – that sort of thing. I had a couple of dinosaur books too, and my sister’s world atlas that I pinched.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I always wished I could have the dash, panache and upbeat energy of Fantastic Mr Fox.

What is the best thing about reading?
Books are like portable teleportation devices. They transport you instantly to other times and places. They also tell you of a whole world of possibility.

What is your all time favourite book?
As anyone who is really into books knows, that is an almost impossible question. As a mini-minor I loved a book called Don’t Go Up If You Can’t Get Down. When I was a little older, John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony was like a bucket of ice cold water.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I try to talk my actions and decisions out loud (which is trickier than it sounds and makes me seem a bit unhinged). Play games together – imaginary and purposeful – talking through what you both are doing.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
Probably more than I imagine. I was never pushed, but reading and writing were definitely a big thing in our house.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
My little lad loves Judith Kerr’s Mog books for longer reads. Chris Houghton’s books A Bit Lost and Shh! We Have a Plan are funny and beautifully illustrated

Dan Green is a writer and science communicator who lives in London. Rebel Science, the stories of the feisty scientists who rocked the boat and changed the world, is shortlisted for the 2016 Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize. His Basher Science book series of books has sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

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