Describe your latest project.
My new book Monkey and Me is about a small girl and her toy monkey. It's a guessing, joining in with, and shouting out kind of a book! Monkey and the little girl have been on a trip to see some animals. They use action rhymes to help us guess what animals they might have seen.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
"Playfully set typography finishes off this fizzy offering, which is perfectly in tune with the way a child's imagination and a beloved toy are all the ingredients needed for happiness." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[Gravett's] approach not only gives the pictures the momentum and spontaneity of roughed-out animation, it also provides readers with step-by-step instruction for recreating at least some of the fun in their own homes." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A: In our house we all love Dr. Seuss's "It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how." Because it's just so true!
What was your favorite story as a child?
My favorite book as a child was The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord. It's a story about a small village that gets invaded by a million wasps. The villagers hold a meeting and decide to make a giant jam sandwich to trap the wasps. It's all told in verse, which is very satisfying when you're small and lovely to read as an adult, and the illustrations are beautiful. Very busy with loads of detail.
What do you do for relaxation?
I'm not very good at relaxing. I find it a bit boring! The nearest I get to it is when I walk the dog or mow the lawn. I got rid of my electric lawn mower and replaced it with an old-fashioned, manual push mower, which is very satisfying because it makes a lovely whirring noise and the grass flies everywhere.
What is your idea of bliss?
Baked beans on toast in bed on Sunday morning where I listen to the radio. Mmmmm!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted desperately to be a witch. I used to try to cast spells on my parents and was constantly disappointed that I couldn't fly on a broomstick.
Tell us about your pets.
I have a beautiful rescued dog called Otto. He is very calm and regal looking, with incredibly long legs and long, fluffy ears. In fact, he is a very long dog all over! Because was rescued, I'm always wondering what he did before he came to live with us. I wish he could talk.
If you could be someone else, who would that be, and why?
I was about to write that I'd never want to be someone else, but then I reread my last answer and realized if I became Otto, I'd know everything about his past.
But I'd only want to be him for just long enough to have a good run around the field (ooh, the wind in my ears!). I'd definitely want to be me again before I had to eat dog food!
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Emily Gravett lives in Brighton, England, with her partner, who is a plumber, their daughter, and a dog. The plumber fixes things that leak. Their daughter reads a lot, and the dog spends his time eating small scraps of paper that he finds in the wastepaper basket.