Welcome

Welcome to my website, where you can find information about my books, view my illustrations, check out what people asked in my Q&A section. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Don't Downgrade the Arts

In September it will become compulsory for secondary school children to study the English Baccalaureate core subjects of English, maths, science, a language and history or geography. I believe that arts subjects are also essential to education. They are of incalculable worth in what it means to be a human being.

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Creative Industries Face Disaster

The internet has given us, along with many wonderful things, the ability to steal great quantities of material that used to have to be paid for.

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Scrap baseline tests for four and five-year-olds

I have joined leading educationalists, early years specialists and psychologists in calling for plans to introduce tests for four- and five-year-olds in their first weeks at primary schools to be scrapped.

Language, writing and imagination

I talk with Michael Rosen on BBC Radio 4 about language, writing and imagination. We share examples from our own work and also discuss the books that influenced us and who we are writing for.

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My Books

As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means.

The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader's mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I'm not going to explain.

Anyway, I'm not in the message business; I'm in the "Once upon a time" business.

William Blake and me

Sometimes we find a poet, or a painter, or a musician who functions like a key that unlocks a part of ourselves we never knew was there. The experience is not like learning to appreciate something that we once found difficult or rebarbative, as we might conscientiously try to appreciate the worth of The Faerie Queene and decide that yes, on balance, it is full of interesting and admirable things. 

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Pay authors properly for eBook loans

New media and new forms of buying and lending are all very interesting, for all kinds of reasons, but one principle remains unchanged: authors must be paid fairly for their work. Any arrangement that doesn't acknowledge that principle is a bad one, and needs to be changed. That is our whole argument.

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Loosen the chains of imagination

Fairy stories loosen the chains of the imagination. They give you things to think with – images to think with – and the sense that all kinds of things are possible. While at the same time being ridiculous or terrifying or consolatory. Or something else altogether, as well.

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Good Man Jesus & The Scoundrel Christ

People were surprised when a hardened atheist wrote a book about Jesus Christ. Some of my correspondents are sure that my intention is evil, and that I will meet my judgment before the Great White Throne. Be that as it may, and I think it won’t, I know from my experience with previous books that many readers do have an honest curiosity about the author’s point of view. So they sometimes ask me: ‘What do you really believe? What does your book mean? How should we understand it?’

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