The Little Interview

The Little Interview: Chris Judge by jen outlaw

May we introduce you to the very lovely and extremely talented Mr. Chris Judge, illustrator and author of The Lonely Beast and The Great Explorer... and Adam Buxton's number one fan.

1. Describe yourself as a child in five words

Tall. Skinny. Cautious. Daydreamer. Lancelot Haircut.

2. When you were little what did you dream of being?

I always dreamed of being an astronaut or at the very least a passenger on a space craft visiting the moon. I'm still dreaming it will happen someday!

3. You're a graphic designer, illustrator, painter and author. You've had two children's picture books published - why did you start writing for children? What drew you to it?

I have always loved drawing and reading, and comics played a huge part in my life when I was growing up. My dad also wrote and drew lots of stories for myself and my brothers and sisters which influenced me to make my own stories and characters. I have always loved narrative in my artwork so it felt like a very natural step making picture books.

4. You're first book, The Lonely Beast, is about a big hairy creature on a quest to cure his loneliness. Where do you get your inspiration and ideas for your wonderful stories?

I have always loved monsters, robots and aliens so The Lonely Beast is kind of a distilled version of bigfoot, yetis, chewbacca and lots of other characters like that. The Yeti in Tintin in Tibet had a huge influence on me as a child and I drew him over and over. The Beast is a combination of all these things but it was only when I went to tell his story that I discovered his lonely and poignant personality.

5. What was your favourite picture book when you were little?

When I was very young my favourite books were anything by Richard Scarry. I still adore his books today. I then graduated to Tintin when I was about 10 and that changed everything for me.

6. We're lucky enough to have both your books in our collection. What do you like most about Me Books?

I really love that the essence of the original book is still the key thing, but once you start interacting with them there is so much more to discover. I really like how lighthearted they are too, and the fact that users can create their own dialogue and sounds effects is so much fun.

7. What are your opinions on the Print vs. Digital debate?

I am hugely excited about digital publishing and am really looking forward to embracing it and seeing where it takes us. I believe in time it will work in tandem with printed publishing rather than replacing it. I think people assumed film and TV would be the death of books and radio but that didn't happen, radio is even thriving now. Digital publishing is a whole other medium and will be very important for education and literacy, especially in the developing world. The next ten years will be very interesting.

Find out more about Chris and his work by visiting his website, http://chrisjudge.4ormat.com

The Lonely Beast and The Great Explorer are narrated by Adam Buxton and available in Me Books.

The Little Interview: Richard E. Grant by jen outlaw

Some say he shot to fame for his role in Withnail and I, but in my eyes he holds a special place for playing Jack, in one of my favourite films ever, Jack and Sarah! Films aside, when we received news that Mr Richard E. Grant agreed to narrate for one of the greatest picture book collections ever published - Peter Rabbit - the champagne came out and the dancing shoes on. He was also kind enough to answer some questions. What a lovely man! Ladies and gentelmen, the one and only, Mr Richard E. Grant.

1) Describe yourself as a child in five words.
Extremely curious, skinny and fast.

2) Do you remember the Peter Rabbit books from when you were a child?
I loved Jemima Puddleduck and had a record of it which had very funny characterisations and will never forget 'Flyyyyyyyyy Jemima, Flyyyyyyyyyyyy'. The fact that all the books were miniature sized made especially for children with beautiful illustrations guaranteed their place next to my bed.

3) Me Books aims to inspire children to read. Do you think it's important to encourage kids to read, and why?

Nothing beats going to sleep with a bed time story. Perfectly bridges the gap between being awake and dreaming. Unlike watching TV, the story always feels like its just written for you and nobody else knows what you're reading about and that makes you feel very independent.

4) What are your opinions on the Print vs. Digital debate?

The naysayers predicted radio would be killed off by TV, the movies by sound, films by video and DVD, books by Kindle. Any and every format for reading gets my vote.

5) What was your favourite book as a child?
Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and The Borrowers and The Water Babies and I'd better stop as you've only asked for a favourite, but they were, and all remain favourites.

Get our new Me Books app and listen to Richard E. Grant narrate The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Samuel Whiskers, Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies.

The Little Interview: Sir David Jason by jen outlaw

One of the very first gentlemen to take to the throne in the Me Books recording studio was Sir David Jason, aka, Del Boy. The well known personality injects Ladybird's Robinson Crusoe, The Old Woman and her Pig and The Elves and the Shoemaker with charisma, charm and guffaws a plenty. Here's a little Q&A with Sir David Jason himself.

Describe yourself as a child in 5 words.
Poor, but almost always happy

Do you remember Ladybird Books from when you were a child?
I definitely remember Ladybird Books from when I was a child but only vaguely remember owning one.  I seem to remember being more into comics and loved all the super hero comics and film fun.

What was your favourite book as a child?
I used to have an illustrated copy of Treasure Island and I loved the escapism and exotic background to this lovely, adventure story which, as a child, seemed to be so exciting.

Why do you think it’s so important for children to enjoy reading and why?
Apart from the fact that reading is a tool for getting along in life, I think it is desperately important for fuelling a child’s imagination.  A well told story for a child opens up all kinds of visions and adventures and, in this noisy world that we live in, gives children their own space to explore their own thoughts.

What do you like most about the Me Books app?
The Me Books app offers a modern way of engaging children in books and being interactive with a story and yet still keeps legacy of traditional Ladybird stories.