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Amanda McCardie

As a child

I was born in Leamington, Warwickshire. One of my earliest memories is that we had lots of hedgehogs living at the bottom of the garden. Sophie, the Jack Russell in OUR VERY OWN DOG, joined my family in Leamington. We moved to Gloucestershire not long afterwards. That’s where I spent the rest of my childhood.

As an adult

I went to a school that had more boys in it than girls. English was my favourite subject, and after school I studied English at Oxford. I wrote endless poems and stories as a child, but didn’t start to write again until I was in my thirties.

As an artist

I like to write on a table that looks out into the garden, especially if there’s a blackbird outside. I also like writing on trains, because I find the noise and rhythm help. I work a lot on the computer, but I work more freely when I write by hand. My children’s books are THE FROG BALLET (Julia MacRae, 1997), which won a UK Reading Association Award; DAVY AND SNAKE (Red Fox, 2000); A BOOK OF FEELINGS (Walker Books, 2015), shortlisted for the SLA Information Book Award, 2016; and OUR VERY OWN DOG (soon to be published by Walker Books, 2016).

Things you didn’t know about Amanda

  1. I still count on my fingers.
  2. I like stories that make me laugh.
  3. I like stories that make me cry.
  4. I kept my eyes closed all the way round on the London Eye, because I’m scared of heights.
  5. I like hand-drawn maps and printed maps – all kinds of maps.
  6. I have the worst sense of direction of anyone I know (which may be why I like maps).
  7. When I was small, I thought “human beings” were “human beans”. That’s why the family in A BOOK OF FEELINGS is called the Bean family.
  8. I’ve never, ever hit the ball playing rounders.
  9. Singing makes me happy.
  10. I can’t resist ice-cream.

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