My favourite childhood books were collections of Calvin & Hobbes comics, written and drawn by Bill Watterson. They feature an imaginative boy (who always gets into trouble) and his pet tiger, Hobbes, that looks like a toy when adults are around, but comes alive when it's just the two of them together. The short stories are hilarious and Bill Watterson draws nutty expressions and body language so well!
I'll choose my picture book The New Neighbours. It started as a comic strip called Vern & Lettuce, and I had a lot of fun filling up a tower block with animal residents and thinking what kind of adventures and problems they could have. In this story, the little bunnies who live on the top floor get some cheery news from a pigeon, and the bunnies go downstairs to tell it to the sheep, and the sheep go downstairs to tell it to the pigs... I hope it makes readers laugh! But I also hope it will remind them to try to get to know people instead of simply believing nasty gossip about them.
Well, I wasn't very happy when I was a kid. I worried too much about what the other children thought of me. But books made everything different. Reading showed me that there was a world beyond my classroom: exciting fictional lands and historical settings, and real modern-day places such as the Taj Mahal. Books gave me hope that someday I might be able to visit these places. Stories also let me get to know interesting people in books and spend time with them, without having to worry they might turn around and shame me in front of everyone.
Some of my teachers used to set out a little corner of the classroom with cushions and bookshelves, and that was a little bit of heaven. And I used to take a big apple box to the library with my family almost every week and fill the whole box with library books. I'm sure that's why I'm an author now, and why I love to draw all the time.
You can find out more about Sarah McIntyre at her web site http://www.jabberworks.co.uk/books/.