I originally hail from Yorkshire, but have been in London for nearly half my life now. I live in Sydenham, South East London, with my husband, our 8 year old daughter and our 5 year old son.
What are your children’s favourite books?
Together, they absolutely love the ‘You Choose’ series of books, by Pippa Goodhart. They provide endless options for telling their own stories, and are accessible to all ages, so they can read them together. They can get lost in them for hours (I may be exaggerating there…), creating their ow worlds. They provide lots of opportunities for questions and discussion too.
Individually, for my 5 year old, we always go back to ‘Oh No, George!’ by Chris Haughton. His whole series of books are hilarious and illustrated in a simple but endearing and fun way. ‘Oh No, George’ is his favourite as he likes the slight edge of naughtiness that George the dog shows, and the fact that he just can’t help himself, even though he wants to be good. I’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve read this book over the past couple of years!
My 8 year old is devouring books (really wish the libraries were open right now!). Jacqueline Wilson is her favourite author. I was worried initially that some of the topics might be too old for her, but the website splits them by age group, so we can stay away from those which might be a tad too much. That said, they have opened up some good discussions, and also made her aware of different situations people might face.
Which book do you most like reading to them?
I love reading “Mr Wolf’s Pancakes”, by Jan Fearnley, as I just find it highly amusing. It doesn’t have the ending you might expect, and I love it for that (I won’t spoil the surprise here). I also treasure ‘Freddie and the Fairy’ by Julia Donaldson (one of her lesser known books) as it has a lovely message that we have to understand others, be kind, and adapt to what they might need.
Who is your favourite children’s author?
I’ve recently re-read a couple of Roald Dahl books and completely fell in love with them again. I just adore ‘Matilda’, and ‘The Twits’ made me laugh a lot. I like the fact that he was so bold and created such big characters, and had such a fantastic way with words, which engages the reader from the very beginning.
Which character in children’s literature do you think is the best role model for kids?
Relating to the previous question – Matilda from Matilda! She is a strong girl, who follows her instincts and fights against oppression. What more could we want to demonstrate to our children?! And I also love the fact it was written over 30 years ago.
What would you like to see more of in kids’ books today?
Inclusivity and diversity. The default is still white, able bodied, neurotypical characters, often male dominated. It’s changing, slowly, but as with all forms of culture, media and entertainment, the rate of change needs to accelerate. I’d love to see more ethnically diverse characters, characters who aren’t physically and mentally ‘perfect’ (whatever that is!) and more books where girls are the hero (but the fact that she’s a girl isn’t the subject of the story, it’s just that way).
About JG Coaching
I am a Coach, who helps people work out what’s next, where they are going and how to grow. Many of my clients are parents who feel like they’re a bit stuck/bored and haven’t focused on themselves for a long while, so have found themselves just being swept along with life. I help them take back control.
I am trained in ‘Psychodynamic’ Coaching , which allows me to work alongside clients to get to the bottom of what’s really going on. I strongly believe that Coaching is about understanding the whole person and the whole context, and in my Coaching sessions I ensure to take time to work through not only intentions, but anxieties and blockages.