Friday, 10 July 2009

Birthday Post 7 by Julia Churchill

by Julia Churchill

What's your first book memory? THE HUNGRY CATERPILLAR - all the yummy food he makes his way through! And I adored WHERE THE WILD ONES ARE. It totally plugged in to that wild imagination of a four year old.

Best bedtime story? One year my grandmother read us THE HOBBIT. She did the voices and everything - her 'Gollum' was terrifying. It was that Autumn in '87 with the massive storm. The night of the storm trees were coming down all over the place and my grandmother read to us til dawn to keep us calm. Or maybe that's just the way I remember it.

What book made you check under the bed and in the cupboard? THE RATS by James Herbert. I slept with the light on for weeks. THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE had a similar effect a few years before. And because of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (the Ladybird version) I still can't sleep with my feet sticking out of the duvet.

Best ever baddy? Cruella De Vil. Every baddy should have a 'thing' and a coat made of puppies is just the best ever.

Which character would you like as your best friend? Hal and Roger Hunt from THE ADVENTURE SERIES by Willard Price. Their break-neck adventures took them through jungles, rivers and desert islands. Perfect escapism for a tomboy.

Best illustrations? Beatrix Potter's books - Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Peter Rabbit. Those characters are so much a part of childhood and even now the illustrations take me right back there.

Which book made you cry? THE RECTORY MICE. I don't think it's in print any more. It's the story of a struggling family of mice and it took me apart.

Most annoying character? Anne and Julian from THE FAMOUS FIVE. They were such fun-sponges.

What's your favourite fantasy world? Narnia. The scope of that series was extraordinary. Or maybe the world of THE BORROWERS which put magic into the every-day.

Which books did you hide from your mum? Anything by Judy Blume. Not that she'd have minded but I would have blushed if she'd found all the passages I'd underlined...

Desert Island children's book? Can I have THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ROALD DAHL? It's a bit of a cheat but would keep me entertained for a good while.

Which book do you treasure? My childhood copy of THE PRINCESS BRIDE. That book has everything.

Julia Churchill began her career in books in the Press Office of Sheldrake Press. In 2002 she started work at the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency, eventually becoming Associate Agent specializing in children’s books. She now works at The Greenhouse Literary Agency.


karen ball said...

I wish I'd had your grandmother to read to me, Julia!

Elen Caldecott said...

I love the idea of 'fun-sponges'! I would put Katy's tedious cousin in that category too (I can't remember her name, from What Katy Did)

Anne Rooney said...

Hooray, someone who remembers picture books! They get forgotten so often - overlaid by the exciting things we read later. I love the fun-sponge, too. I can think of a few real life fun-sponges...

Gillian Philip said...

My first book memory is of a small board (I think) book called Ant And Bee. It went everywhere with me, even to my tonsillectomy. I think I was still clutching it when I came round, but I suspect that is a trick of memory, given how grubby it was.

And my grandmother used to read us The Wind In The Willows. I was enthralled by itthen, and have never been able to read it since. Maybe she did good voices too, I can't remember.

Lucy Coats said...

Oh Gillian--Ant and Bee! I LOVED them. What a fond memory you have brought up for me. And Julia, I started the Wolves Of Willoughby Chase and had to stop reading I was so scared. I never read it again till I was grown up.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Pookie the Rabbit from picture book days... that chain of brave rabbits drumming their feet to frighten off the woodcutters. My first novel read to me at bedtime by my Mum... Jenny by Paul Gallico. I think I was crying by the first page and I remember that cover. It was grey with a scratchy ink drawing of a cat. Why didn't I keep my copy? Please post it back to me anyone who owns it! (oops! I think I still have my wolf pic up!)

Jon M said...

The Rats terrified me too!