Michael Bond

What books did you read when you were a child?
Biggles and The Swiss Family Robinson – I particularly liked the way that the mother was able to find anything they needed in her bag.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Biggles the Daredevil Pilot. At the time I had never flown so didn’t know that I would suffer from air sickness.

What is the best thing about reading?
 It opens the windows to different people and parts of the world.

What is your all-time favourite book?
As a grown up anything by Georges Simenon – as a child The Magnet by Frank Richards.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
My father always said that the most important gift a parent can give is time together.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
None – the War broke out and I was away in the Forces from the age of 17, and didn’t start writing until a year or so later.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
I was brought up in a house where books were part of the furniture and wanted to share in the pleasure that my parents got from reading – and I have tried to pass this on.  

Michael Bond is the much celebrated author of Paddington Bear. He lives in London, not far from Paddington Station. Michael’s latest book, It Wasn't Me, is published on 1 September.

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