Eloise Greenfield

What books did you read when you were a child?
About eighty years ago, my father took my siblings and me to the library every two weeks. I don't remember the books, but I remember loving the words.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I can't think of anyone I'd like to be, but going inside characters, getting to know them, is fascinating.

What is the best thing about reading?
The sounds and rhythms of words, going into other worlds, seeing the complexity of life.

What is your all time favourite book?
So many wonderful books, I can't narrow it down to one. Books by James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Lucille Clifton, Alice Walker, Langston Hughes, many more.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Have conversations, listen to them, and don’t scoff at their opinions.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
Huge! Lots of conversation, allowing us to debate them on little issues, playing word games, helping with homework.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
Reading aloud together, acting out stories, singing. I chose books that were fun, dramatic, filled with interesting sounds.

Eloise Greenfield has written 47 books for children in a career spanning nearly 60 years. She is known for her focus on positive portrayals of black culture and family life. Eloise was recently awarded the Loretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. This prestigious award celebrates an African American author or illustrator who has made a significant and lasting contribution to literature.

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