Liz Pichon

What books did you read when you were a child?
I was obsessed with The Little House on the Prairie books and the TV series too. I also collected all the Mary Plain books because they had doodled letters in them. (An influence for me when writing Tom Gates as I remembered how much I loved those letters). Any Asterix book I could grab out of the library too - I LOVED all of those.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Mary Poppins – who wouldn’t want a bag that could fit everything in it and jump into pictures?

What is the best thing about reading?
Taking time to immerse yourself in someone else’s world.

What is your all time favourite book?
It HAS to be The Twits – I could read that again and again and the drawings are the best.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Have a good CHAT – about everything!

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
My BAD spelling was a constant source of worry to my Mum and Dad. At every parents evening and on all my school reports, maths and spelling were always mentioned (and not in a good way). My parents did encourage me, but they used to get frustrated that I couldn’t remember things. That’s mostly due to me being dyslexic – but we didn’t know that then.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
Let them read something they enjoy. I used to read The Fox books by James Marshall to my son Zak. A friend recommended them and they are HILARIOUS, I love the drawings too.

When Liz was little, she loved to draw, paint and make things. Her mum used to say she was very good at making a mess (which is still true today!).

She kept drawing and went to art school, where she earned a degree in graphic design. She worked as a designer and art director in the music industry, and her freelance work has appeared on a wide variety of products.

Liz is the author-illustrator of the Tom Gates series. Tom Gates is the first series of books she has written and illustrated for older children. They have won several prestigious awards, including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and the Blue Peter Book Award. The books have been translated into forty-one languages worldwide, and sold over 4 million copies.

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