Lucy Freegard

What books did you read when you were a child?
As a young girl, I was obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson’s books; a particular favourite was The Illustrated Mum - I loved the idea of a whacky tattooed mum and wished I had a quirkier name like Dolphin or Star, ha! I also loved Roald Dahl’s novels.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Lucy Pevensie from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe by C. S. Lewis: I like that she’s a Lucy too and is curious, kind, strong, faithful, and forgiving (of her brother Edmund). I’d also like to have tea with Mr. Tumnus.

What is the best thing about reading?
It’s the perfect escape! I wasn’t very keen on reading on my own as a child, I preferred playing outdoors. Now I love curling up under a blanket with a book and my cat, Willow, on my lap.

What is your all-time favourite book?
Umm. Maybe Matilda by Roald Dahl - I was SO envious of her telekinesis. For a precocious child she is still very likeable, fair and cheeky in the best way. I also love how much impact a child can have on an adult, like making Miss Honey braver.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
I’m not a parent yet but if I’m lucky enough to become a mummy one day, my plan is to talk to them, support them, hang out, and simply join in - all the time.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
I currently work from my old bedroom - now a studio - in my parent’s house, only a few miles away from where I live. So they are incredibly supportive on a daily basis. They also inspired my first two children’s picture books: Just Like Daddy and Just Like Mummy.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I don’t have any children, but I do sometimes still feel like a child inside! I have a growing library of picture books for “research”. So I’d thrust all my favourites in front of any willing or unwilling audiences… Silly voices are a must. Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole and Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg were absolute favourites. For older children, anything by Michael Morpurgo.

Lucy Freegard is an illustrator and children’s book author from London. She has an MA in children’s book illustration from Cambridge School of Art, a degree in illustration from Cardiff School of Art & Design and did her art foundation at Falmouth University.

JUST LIKE MUMMY is out now (Pavilion Children’s, £6.99) and is the follow-up to her first picture book, Just Like Daddy, which published in May 2017.

Her third title Ballet Bunnies is out in the summer.

Read more author interviews here.

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