Cathy MacLennan

The Little Bookeater interviews… local children’s author, illustrator and artist Cathy MacLennon. Cathy lives near Reading with her husband. She has two grown-up sons, and a little grandson. Cathy is running the Oodles of Doodles session at Wokingham Children’s Book Festival on 21st October.

What is your all time favourite children’s book, and why?

My favourite children’s book is ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle.  It’s such a universal story – egg turns into caterpillar, caterpillar turns into butterfly – translatable into any language and could even be wordless.  It’s the illustrations that make this book a bestselling classic – beautifully textured, bright collage pieces and painting. Eric Carle’s work has been a great inspiration to me in my work.

Paddington, Winnie or Rupert?

My favourite bear character has to be Winnie the Pooh. He and his friends in One Hundred Acre Wood are just like all the people you know – sweet Piglet, playful Winnie the Pooh,  bouncy Tigger,  gloomy Eeyore and wise Owl.  I like the way Winnie the Pooh speaks and sings – it’s poetry really! Winnie the Pooh likes adventures too because he is an optimist.

If you could be any animal, which one would you be and why? Can you ‘talk’ like the animal?

If I could be any animal, I would be a little bird who lived in a little nest in a beautiful, green tree. I would always be warm because I would fly away (migrate) to a warmer country in the winter. I would chirp and tweet and sing. Birds feature in all of my books. I can do various tropical bird noises

Best place for ice cream after lunch?

It’s a long way to go, but the ice cream in Italy is just the best! And going for an ice cream after lunch in Italy is a very popular activity. Failing that – I always have ice-cream in the freezer. When I was a child I liked the three-layered Neopolitan ice cream best – but now my favourite is Pistachio.

Rockpooling, reading or running, sunbathing or sandcastle building? Which is your favourite beach and activity, and why?

When I was younger I loved making spectacular sandcastles – or sandcastle cities, with walls and a moat and seashell windows, preferably topped with coloured flags. My favourite beach activity now isn’t on your list, but I love beach-combing – looking for treasures – like shells, coloured sea glass, fossils, special pebbles, crystals etc. I was once very lucky and found a dinosaur bone!

What is the yuckiest thing you can think of?

The yuckiest thing EVER are large, slimy, slugs … Eeeeeeeeewwww!!! But even they have featured in a book.


To find out more about the festival and the other authors who will be attending and to book tickets, click here