Science Book a Day Interviews Katie Daynes

katie-daynesSpecial thanks to Katie Daynes for answering 5 questions about her recently featured book – Lift-the-Flap Questions and Answers about Your Body

Katie studied languages at Cambridge University and soon discovered it wasn’t just French or Italian she loved, but language itself.  Her first job was writing reviews of curry houses in verse. Her second was writing science and business articles. Her third and favourite job is writing educational books for children. She loves tackling new subjects and making them come alive for young readers. So far she has written about everything from trucks and toilets to space and Churchill.

#1 – What was the impetus for Questions and Answers about Your Body?

The human body is always a popular topic with kids. They’re fascinated by how bodies works and ask brilliant questions that aren’t always easy to answer. So, when we were developing the Usborne Lift-the-flap Questions & Answers series, Your Body was an obvious title to include.

#2 – How does a ‘lift the flap’ format of the book change it for you? Is it a challenge?

Yes it’s a challenge but it’s also a great opportunity to give more information and illustration without cluttering the page. The flap format lends itself nicely to Questions and Answers since there’s an element of suspense once you’ve read the question before you lift the flap and find the answer.

#3 – This book is written for about 3 years and onwards. How do you personally go about writing a book for this age range?

I’m lucky to have my own kids to test my books on. Often the questions originate from things they or their friends have said. I also do workshops in schools, asking the classes what they’d most like to know about a topic. If I’m still struggling, I email around friends and colleagues with young children, and ask them to listen out for any fun questions their kids have come up with.

#4 – I imagine you did a lot of research for this book. What was your favourite answer that you provided for kids?

I like the answer to “Is my heart heart-shaped?” Firstly, the question itself is so charming (asked by a 5-year-old girl in one of my workshops). Secondly, the answer “No, it’s more fist-shaped and it’s the same size as a fist too” is really satisfying because it provides an instant, recognizable point of comparison.

#5 – Are you working on any new projects/books you can tell us about?

I’m just finishing our latest book in the Lift-the-flap Questions & Answers series, all about Dinosaurs! And I’m working on a younger questions and answers series too, that we hope to launch soon.

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