Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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On tour: Meet the author Kitty Crowther

Kitty Crowther is a Belgian children’s book author and illustrator whose latest books are the ‘Poka & Mia’ series (Tate Publishing). In 2010 she won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She will be visiting Melbourne for the MWF Schools Program in August.

What are you reading right now?
I think in 20 years, no-one has asked me this in an interview! I am reading several books at the same time. A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson, Black Swan). I am reading it really slowly. I try to understand it. I Google the scientists and things that I have no clue about. Also, We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson, Penguin). I love the way it’s written. The rhythm of it. A whole family have been poisoned and they are all very much dead, except the ones who haven’t eaten dessert. 

What are you planning to read next?
Down Under (Bill Bryson, Black Swan). About Australia!

Which book do you always recommend? 
The Birds (Tarjei Vesaas, Peter Owen). Norwegian writer. The writing seems so simple. And yet it has so many layers to it. 

What was the defining book of your childhood?
Picture book: Porculus (Arnold Lobel), French translation of Small Pig (HarperCollins US). Novel: The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett).

If you were a literary character you’d be …
Probably Ronia from Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter (Astrid Lindgren, OUP).

What’s your favourite book adaptation (film, television or theatre)?
I usually don’t like adaptions. I hate them when they are so loud. 

What’s your favourite books website or blog?

Hardback, paperback or digital?
Picture books: hardback. Novels: paperback.

Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. I like it 20% of the time. It’s getting full of publicity stuff. Videos of cute little kittens. Or terrible news! I might stop using it on the day I get my own website. I enjoy Instagram more.

In 50 years’ time books will be …
Paper books. I don’t believe in machines/electronic devices for books. You start realising about ecology/energy/pollution/slave labour (who is going to make these things and with what salary? And under what life conditions?). We are responsible for this! Books are easy to share. And to leave in
kids’ beds!



Category: Features