James Carter

The Little Bookeater interviews… local poet James Carter, who lives in Wallingford with his wife, and four guitars called Keith. He is running the Once Upon A Star session at Wokingham Children’s Book Festival on 21st October:

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

There are so many children’s books I love. I really don’t have a favourite. I love TinTin books. David Almond’s Skellig, the supreme Where The The Wild Things Are, the strangely wonderful or wonderfully strange The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban. But no, as I’m doing a non-fiction event at the festival, I’ll pick my favourite information book for young humans, Oliver Jeffers’ latest, the sublime Here We Are. I wish I’d had that book when I was six. I would have worn it out.

Paddington, Winnie or Rupert?

Winnie the Pooh. It has such a gorgeously slow, humbly-bumbly pace. And that’s how exactly life should be. Just mooching from one moment to the next,

humming a hum, singing a song, thinking a think, walking around a wood with a friend.

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

No question. A wolf. I adore wolves. I’d love to live out in Alaska or Northern Canada and be part of a pack. Watch the Northern Lights dazzle and delight each winter. I’d keep well away from humans that don’t understand that animals need space and respect and not have their habitats destroyed. I recently wrote a non-fiction book about wolves (Harper Collins, Big Cat) and I interviewed the wolf-keeper at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust on the A4 between Reading and Newbury. It’s a fantastic place. I don’t speak lupine, ie wolf, but if you howl at a wolf it will howl back.

Want two interesting wolf facts? One. They don’t howl at the moon. Oh no. They howl any time, and sometimes there’ll be a moon above. Two. They all have 42 teeth. How-oooo interesting!

What is the best place for ice cream after lunch?

Ice cream for me is a mid-afternoon holiday thing. Ideally from the ice cream van next to the Winking Prawn in Salcombe, South Devon. Rum & Raisin flavour in a cone and with a fudge.

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

There’s NOTHING BETTER than a) reading my book (usually non-fiction) then b) grabbing my bucket and rock pooling. Bliss!

What is the yuckiest thing you can think of?

I’d better not say the yukkiest thing I can think of as it’s D I S G U S T I N G and it involves one of our cats and a slug. You’ll just have to imagine what it is.


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