Laura Ellen Anderson

What books did you read when you were a child?
Some of my favourite books as a child were The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy, Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester, Double Act by Jacqueline Wilson, and most of Roald Dahl’s books; in particular The Witches, The Twits and Matilda.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
I would love to be Mildred Hubble or Matilda! Any character with magical powers really…

What is the best thing about reading?
It’s a form of escapism. I love to be taken on a journey with a character and get to know their world.

What is your all time favourite book? 
A difficult question! But if I really had to choose right now, it would probably be The Witches by Roald Dahl. It’s a perfect mix of scary, witty and gripping!

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?

Talking about books and telling stories. It’s not always about the solitary experience of reading but also about sharing stories and recommending books to each other.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?

My parents have always been hugely supportive and encouraging of my illustration and writing career. I wouldn’t be where I am without their continued support.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?

I don't have children, but for reluctant readers, comic books are a great way into stories. From my work with The Phoenix Comic, (where my story Evil Emperor Penguin appears), I love seeing how enthusiastic and passionate comics readers can be. Once you’ve hooked into that enthusiasm, they become readers for life.

Laura Ellen Anderson is a children’s book author and illustrator who lives in North London. The creator of Evil Emperor Penguin for The Phoenix comic, Laura's debut author/illustrated picture book, I Don't Want Curly Hair, was published by Bloomsbury in February 2017 and she is currently working on her own young fiction novel Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball, which publishes with Egmont in October 2017.

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