Pop-picker Michelle Robinson chooses a book with a ton of fun.
I unashamedly love pop. I’m a sucker for a pure idea, clearly expressed with a ton of fun thrown in. For that reason, I wish I could write like Andy Stanton. Ludicrous, of course — nobody can like the Stanty Man Can. His recent picture book, Going to the Volcano is entirely daft and completely brilliant for it. Read any one of his stories aloud and you’re an instant standup comic.
I also wish I could be seven years old again and discovering The Worst Witch for the first time. I’ve never related to a character quite so much as the tomboyish, clumsy, ne’er-do-well Mildred Hubble. Jill Murphy’s crystal clear words and illustrations are a total treat. It’s all so accessible. Nothing highbrow about it. Totally immaculate.
Thankfully we don’t have to turn back time to discover a new class of heroes. Contemporary seven-year olds (and the rest) can discover all kinds of wonderful, relatable characters — new, old and increasingly more representative — on the bookshelves. I am proud to be putting Sir Grace on the shelves alongside Mildred and Jammy Grammy Lammy F’Huppa F’Huppa Berlin Stereo Eo Eo Lebb C’Yepp Nermonica Le Straypek De Grespin De Crespin De Spespin De Vespin De Whoop De Loop De Brunkle Merry Christmas Lenoir.
Michelle Robinson is well known for her picture books, including the award-winning There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes. The first book in her debut young fiction series, Do Not Disturb the Dragons, is out now.
Going to the Volcano by Andy Stanton is published by Hodder Children’s Books, (978-1444933451), £6.99 pbk. It is illustrated by Miguel Ordonez.