I can still remember my first experience of being read to as a child. It was at school, when I was five or six, and the book was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Instantly, I was hooked. To me, the idea that you could be transported somewhere different, where weird and wonderful things happened, was just extraordinary.
At the time my family was living in the New Hebrides – now known as Vanuata – and when they moved to France when I was eight I tried, unsuccessfully, to find the book. It wasn’t until I came to England at 23 that I was finally reunited with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It felt like meeting an old friend again.
As a child, discovering books was like finding a portal to another dimension. I was amazed – and still am – that with a book you can travel the world, meet a whole host of people and characters and can travel backward or forwards in time. It’s just the most wonderful thing. I’m such a book lover that I even named my son, Emile, after my favourite writer Emile Zola, while my daughter Adele was given the same name as the daughter of author Victor Hugo. Continue reading