Alex Waldron has written one of our favourite books in the 4-7 collections this month. Get yourself a 3 or 4 book box and get your hands on a copy of Our Uncles the Cruncles. Read on to find out why Alex thinks a diverse bookshelf is so important and some very specific life advice about custard…
1.Why did you start writing books for children?
Completely by accident! I use to concoct fantastical tales for my two sons, Fred and Woody to get them to sleep. The world it was set in (a fictionalised version of Cornwall where we live) grew and grew and one year I brought the stories to life and gave the boys a handmade book about their amazing Nannies – past and present.
2.How did you get your book out into the world?
Friends of mine read these hand drawn books and got me in touch with the publisher Ruby Tuesdays who amazingly loved my words and drawings and helped me develop them into a reality.
3.Why did you write this book?
My sons have been brought up in a family with different examples of loving relationships. Seeing their uncles kiss and hold hands is as normal as seeing their nan and grandad cuddle. Not all children experience this. I wanted to celebrate love in all its different shapes and sizes. I think if we arm kids with as much knowledge and confidence as possible at an early age, there’s nothing they can’t do in the future.
4.Do you relate to any characters in your stories – which ones and in what way?
I guess as the writer there is a bit of me in all the characters but if I had to pick one it would probably be Martha the turtle who appears on every spread normally having got herself into trouble.
5.What’s your favourite book and why?
I love fiction and non fiction equally. My favourite grown up book is Tortilla Flats but if I was to pick a book my boys and I love reading together it would be My Dad Use To Be So Cool and anything Star Wars related.
6.What did you want to be when you grew up?
An artist for as long as I can remember.
7.What do you want children to get from your books?
I want children and parents to laugh together and to be able to ask each other questions. For it to be an icebreaker and a ‘way in’ on sensitive subjects. I wanted the aesthetic of the
books to appeal to the adult reader as much as the child and for it to be a fun read.
8.Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t worry about looking silly when trying something new, anyone who is brilliant at something started off bad. Also, don’t gargle custard.
9.Finish this sentence for us…Reading from diverse bookshelves….
Helps develop confident young people with diverse thoughts of their own.
10.A message to readers of your book?
Enjoy and pass it on!