Kamilla Benko

What books did you read when you were a child?
Everything! I read lots of fantasy, like C.S Lewis, Diana Wynne Jones, Eva Ibbotson, and Elizabeth Goudge, as well books without magic, like Beverly Clearly and L.M. Montgomery.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
It's probably the most expected answer, but who wouldn't want to be Hermione Granger?

What is the best thing about reading?
It's the moment when you feel your breath catch in your throat, because the characters are in a dangerous situation, and they have become truly real for you.

What is your all time favourite book?
My all-time favourite series is Harry Potter, but my favourite book is The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children's communication skills?
Ask them to tell you stories, and provide them the space and time to entertain themselves with their own imaginative musings away from the screen.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A tremendous part! My parents read to me every day, sometimes for hours, and would encourage me to play make-believe with costumes and props.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I recommend parents seek out recently published books they haven't read yet, so that they can discover the story alongside their children and share that first experience together.

Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. Now, she visits other worlds as a children's book editor. She currently lives in New York with her bookshelves, teapot, and hiking boots. The Unicorn Quest is her first novel.

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