'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 13 April 2018

Look What I'm Reading! Dimity Powell

Dimity Powell is author of over twenty books, with her latest release, the highly successful picture book, The Fix-It Man. She is leader extraordinaire, and Managing Editor at Kids Book Review. Dimity’s tireless devotion to children’s books comes through in her candid replies and trademark humour.

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
Figgy Takes the City by Tamsin Janu

Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
It’s the third story about Figgy, a young Ghanaian girl from an impoverished African village who along with her best friend, Nana, win scholarships to attend school in Accra, a big Ghanaian city. Their journey is an exciting and sometimes harrowing venture into a world completely contrasting their own.

How much did you enjoy/are enjoying this title?
I’ve just started it but absolutely love Figgy’s unaffected, almost naïve view of the world. I was a Figgy fan from the first novel, Figgy in the World. Her tales chime with courage, tenacity and humility. It’s also very satisfying being part of someone’s story in a country I am not familiar with.

What made you choose this title? Was it a review, advertising, the cover, the blurb, the author/illustrator, or the subject/genre? I am reading a review copy, however I have become a bit of a Janu fan so would have sourced this to read anyway. It’s rare I’ll read an entire series once I’ve reviewed the first one or two - there simply isn’t always the time! - unless I’m completely in love with the characters and writing. Obviously I’ve fallen, here.

What other titles are on your bedside table /To Read Pile? Well, what isn’t! Apart from a small Everest of picture books - some review copies, some purchased and some borrowed from the library, Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch being one of my more recent must have purchases - I’ve just finished Frank Woodley’s junior novel, Kizmet and the Case of the Pirate Treasure. It was okay but not life changing for me.

Fearless Frederick by Felice Arena was far more memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed his new historic adventure middle grade novel set in Paris. Sarah Epstein’s YA thriller, Small Spaces recently blew me away, too. Sensational! I’m also channelling the action hero within me with Jack Heath’s Choose the Path adventure Countdown to Danger Series for younger readers. These high tension, bullet train fast tales do nothing for a calm night’s sleep but are more exciting than a night at the movies to experience.

Missing by Sue Whiting was another supremely enjoyable read. Pulsing with emotion and heart. I've just added The Endsister by Penni Russon to the pile too. Oh my goodness, I'm in love with it already. Words flow like cream from Russon's pen. I can't wait to see where this one takes me.

When I’ve run out of kids' puff, I fill in the wee hours with more grown up reads: Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane for instance; a superlative psychological thriller and How To Hug A Hedgehog, a non-fiction guide for getting me through the teen years. Tres useful. The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is the next one on my To Read Pile for Adults, that’s if I can find it under the stack of kids’ books!

How did you come by these titles: personal choice/request, publisher’s review copy, or other?

I gain many children’s titles as review requests, sometimes as proof copies. Some are personal choice; others are my book club recommendations. Even though my child is now in high school, I still visit the local mobile library a couple of times a month to load up on picture books, because, well, one can never have too many picture books, can one!

Do you have a favourite genre? If so, what is it, and why do you prefer it?
I have an almost unhealthy addiction to picture books and will trumpet on about their worth and wonders for as long as anyone lets me. They represent the TARDIS of storytelling; so much meaning in such a finite space – it’s truly magical.
Do you read from printed books or some other medium? Please expand a little on the why of your choice?
Always printed (paperback) books because they hurt less when I drop them on my face after I fall asleep reading.

Visit Dimity at: www.dimitypowell.com