Guest editor

Anna, Mother Pukka

A journalist, editor and mother in search of pukka things for her kid, founder Anna Whitehouse previously worked as the Vice Editor at Time Out Amsterdam before writing about shoes and handbags for fashion labels SuperTrash and Tommy Hilfiger. Looking for a change of pace, she recently returned to London and now works as a writer at Shortlist Media.

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Anna, Mother Pukka

Q&A

What attracts you to a book?

If I’m being completely honest it’s the front cover of the book that draws me to it. I read with the eye first so the aesthetics are key. Word of mouth is also important, books that help grow a conversation, books that inspire as well as human stories.

Who are your favourite children’s authors and/or illustrators?

Lemon Drop Books by Mark Lemon, particularly The Adventures of Otis Lemon has been a favourite, especially seeing his journey and seeing him grow as an author and self-publisher over the year.

Mike Alderton’s iPhone attachment bedtime book is wonderful. It’s a book that you project onto the wall and you can create and read the story using that - it makes it much more interactive.

Are there any characters in children’s books you have read that you would like to be friends with or be like? Why?

I feel a real affinity with the Hungry Caterpillar. It’s a story that has transcended ages and never seems to be out of date. I feel a bit like the hungry caterpillar sometimes - keeping chomping away at everything! It’s a book that I hope Mae will read to her children.

How do you choose books for Mae to read / how does she choose books to read?

Mae chooses her own books to read some of the time - we spend a lot of time in bookshops. I feel it is important for her to discover what she likes and wants to read based on her own likes and dislikes. We do also read recommendations from friends as well. It’s the process of picking up the book and the freshly printed page smell. Mae already has strong opinions about which books she likes - Dinosaurs, so the physical process of choosing a book is important.

What are your top 5 reads of 2017 so far been with Mae?

Mark Lemon

Otis Lemon and the Magic Scooter

iPhone attachment storybook

Moonlight (a new book that was crowdfunded in America and is about creating the story using the images you project on the wall at bedtime)

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Gruffalo

View book

Beatrix Potter

The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle

My Own Mind

I love making up stories for Mae

 

Do you have a favourite children’s book you go back to time and time again? What do you think it is about this book that you enjoy so much?

My mother always use to read me stories about a Mouse called ‘The Curly Cobbler’. He was a very industrious mouse that despite his size was always able to work hard reach his goal, the moral being that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it well. The books were also the right size for my hands so I really felt like the book had been made for me and not for an adult to read to me. I still at times always think to myself - ‘what would the curly cobbler do?’

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