Edith Pattou

What books did you read when you were a child?
I read ALL kinds of books, from fairy tales to mysteries to biographies to funny books. A few of my favorites were the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle, all the E. Nesbit books, and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Pippi Longstocking, or Lucy Pevensie from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I love Pippi’s strength and brashness - a favourite quote of mine is Pippi’s; “If you are very strong you must also be very kind.” And I love Lucy’s loyalty, her sense of wonder, and her friendship with Mr Tumnus.

What is the best thing about reading?
I love how you can visit, and get lost in, worlds and characters outside your own life. Worlds that are deeply unfamiliar and yet at the same time believable and true.

What is your all time favourite book?
It is impossible to pick just one! But I guess it would have to be a Narnia book by C.S. Lewis, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has always been one of my favourites.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
When we were raising our daughter, my husband and I felt strongly about always eating meals together - especially dinner - and encouraged lively conversation, both asking a lot of questions and making sure we listened to the answers.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
I’d say they played a big part, mainly by reading to me every night, encouraging me to use the library, and modelling their own love of reading. They were also very supportive of my early efforts at writing.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I always made sure my daughter (who is now grown up and in university!) had access to lots of books. I frequently took her to libraries and bookstores, and on car trips we always listened to audiobooks. Some book titles I’d recommend are: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, the Alanna books by Tamora Pierce, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, books by Kate DiCamillo, especially Because of Winn Dixie, and of course Narnia and Harry Potter books!

Edith Pattou has been writing since the age of seven. While writing North Child, Edith became an expert in mapmaking, seamanship, Scandinavian languages, Norse mythology and the Arctic, journeying by ship through the fjords of Norway.

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