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Pippa Goodhart

As a child

I grew up in Grantchester, going to the village school. It only had two classes when I began there: the top class and the bottom class. I wasn’t at all clever at school, but I did enjoy playtime. My best friend lived next door, and we spent very happy times being orphans or teachers or making things. Then I went to Impington Village College, which came as a shock, because it was two bus rides away, had a thousand pupils and I was the only one from the village to go there. My growing-up really began when I took on a Saturday job – it happened to be in a bookshop.

As an adult

I did a history degree, then trained to be an infant teacher. I was partly dismayed and partly relieved when there weren’t any teaching jobs available at the time I qualified. So I went back to my Saturday and holiday job people. This time, they gave me a job in the children’s bookshop. I loved it. I read and read, and loved matching readers with books. To my surprise, I enjoyed the business side of it too. I became manager of the shop, but then I fell in love and moved to Leicester, to be with my Mick. I did teach then, and worked for a publisher, and had babies. It was Mick who got me to have a go at writing. I haven’t stopped since!

As an artist

My first book was Flow, which got shortlisted for the Smarties Prize and has been used in many schools as a class reader. Forty-six other books have followed – novels, early readers and picture books. There is great variety in my books, but I think that they all serve up some familiar part of life, in a new way, to make the reader see it anew.

Things you didn't know about Pippa Goodhart

  1. I have an "inny" tummy button.
  2. I got chickens for my birthday.
  3. Our family word for criticizing an early draft of a story is "snerting".
  4. I pay my daughters to snert for me. My husband does it for free.
  5. I was very slow at learning to read.
  6. I love a good cream tea.
  7. I’ve met some famous authors, and have lots of author friends.
  8. I sometimes sing loudly, and badly, when I’m on my own in the house.
  9. I can make it look as if I’m pulling off the top of my thumb.
  10. I don’t write stories in the way that teachers tell you that you should.

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