Elevenses with… Anna Kemp

Good morning Banjitos! Today I’m sharing some face-smearingly sticky brownies with Anna Kemp, author of two of my favourite picture books: Dogs Don’t Do Ballet and The Worst Princess. Let’s get stuck in!

Anna, what is the first thing you remember writing? 

When I was six, I wrote a very silly story about a slug-witch who wanted to cover the world with slime. I still love silly stories (but I’m less keen on slime).

Yuck, me too! What location from a story would you love to visit?

I would love to visit the Land of Sweets in The Nutcracker. Chocolate, candy canes, Turkish delights – what’s not to like? My tooth is even sweeter than yours Banjo. 

Ha! That’s impossible! Next question: Which character from a book would you most like to meet in person? 

Peter Pan. How wonderful would it be to fly out of your bedroom window and off to Neverland? I wouldn’t like to meet the crocodile though. 

Never trust a crocodile! From whom would you most like to receive a letter?

I’d love to get a letter from the future. Perhaps from my future self. I could give myself lots of good advice. I might even follow it!

Do you have any tips for budding writers?

Follow your ideas, however silly they may seem at first. There may be a brilliant story in there, but you won’t know until you try to write it down.

What is your next book about?

My next book is called MAMMOTH and it is about a Woolly Mammoth who has been frozen in a block of ice for thousands of years. The ice melts and he finds himself in modern day New York city. Chaos ensues!

Last question: What is the silliest word you can think of? 

Children’s books are full of wonderful, silly words – snozzcumber, slithergadee, tum-tum tree – but the silliest has to be the Fizza-ma-Wizza-ma-Dill: a giant dragon creature that appears in Dr Seuss’s If I Ran the Zoo. 

Thanks Anna! Shall we share the last brownie?

Go on then.

Check out more of Anna’s wonderful work here.


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