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

Tuesday 1 March 2022

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Penelope Pratley

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I love hanging out the laundry with matching pegs and folding it in all its sunshiny goodness.

2. What is your nickname?
I’ve never really had a nickname because Penelope is always shortened to Penny – but I prefer Penelope (as long as I’m not in trouble).

3. What is your greatest fear?
Something horrendous happening to the people I love most in the world.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Simple, kind, gentle, brave, cheerful, compassionate, curious, optimistic and hopeful.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Thoughtful, creative, (occasionally) insightful, optimistic, dreamer.

6. What book character would you be, and why?
I would be the little girl from Marie Hall Ets picture book Play With Me. Not only is it my favourite picture book but it sums up life so beautifully. Stop chasing everything away because you’re trying too hard. It will all come back to you if you sit still for a while.

7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I genuinely don’t have an answer to this question. Not very adventurous or curious I know, but I am very content right here and now.

8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
My ten-year-old self would be extraordinarily happy that grown-up Penelope has two dogs and a cat. She’d ask what are their names and could she take them home.

9. Who is your greatest influence?
That is a huge question! Do I have a greatest influence? I don’t think so… I am influenced by every story I have every heard, every image I have pored over, every child I have taught, my own precious family, my beautiful friends and by the desire to share love, joy, peace, kindness and generosity.

10. What/who made you start writing?
I started drawing – I have always drawn, the writing comes after.

11. What is your favourite word and why?
I love old-fashioned and unusual words that are generally no longer used. One of my favourite possessions is a dictionary of them. For example:
Penelope is a pluviophile; she curls up with a book and a cup of tea as any good librocubularist does when the clouds burst.

12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I dislike this question immensely but if I can only choose one it would be Heidi.

 Tasmanian born illustrator/author Penelope Pratley has been mucking about with paint for as long as she can remember. She loves illustrating and writing books that encourage children to be kind, brave, gentle, compassionate, curious and hopeful, inspiring them to find their place in the world. For more information, see www.penelopesnest.com.