Polly Faber: Children’s Author, Pet Picker and Tortoise Impersonator

Polly Faber: Children’s Author, Pet Picker and Tortoise Impersonator


2018 is a busy year for children’s writer Polly Faber. The author of the ‘Mango and Bambang’ series (about the adventures of a girl and her tapir best friend), has penned another three books! Each guaranteed to be heading to a kid’s bookshelf near you this Spring. Picture book ‘Grab That Rabbit’, ‘Pony on the Twelfth Floor’ for older kids and, the book that her and illustrator Clara Vulliamy are coming to Barnes for, ‘Picking Pickle’. Phew! ‘Picking Pickle’ is all about the painstaking process of picking the right dog for you, and their workshop at our festival will include an inventive reading of the witty book, followed by an opportunity to design your dream dog…



Barnes Children’s Literature Festival: What did you want to be when you were growing up?


Polly Faber: Everything! But in no particular order, some favourites were to be a cooker (‘gas or electric’ asked my big brothers…), a pony, a golden retriever, a private investigator, a naturalist, a fairy and a film star.




BCLF: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?


PF: It’s OK to feel sad sometimes because you can’t ever really know what happy feels like without it.



BCLF: And the worst?


PF: That all I had to do was follow the recipe and my gingerbread castle would come out fine.



BCLF: If you could ask another author a question, who would you ask and what would the question be?


PF: I’d ask Clara Vulliamy whether we could make another book together soon please? And what’s her favourite way to eat potatoes?


Polly in conversation with co-creator Clara Vulliamy



BCLF: My favourite word is …


PF: ‘Puggled’ is a good one. It’s from Yorkshire I think and it means very tired. I use it a lot.




BCLF: My greatest fear is…


PF: Plummeting. I don’t like tall buildings or planes much. I’m not verylikely to bungee jump or skydive. Or go across that glass bridge in China…




BCLF: My hidden talent is…


PF: I can do a good tortoise impression.




BCLF: Favourite book as a child?


PF: Depends on at what age but probably Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I was a very big Asterix fan too.




BCLF: Who is your favourite literary villain? 


PF: I scare easily, so I tend to only choose the setting ‘Very Mild Peril’. I used to sometimes skip past the baddies in books I knew well! Miss Slighcarp in Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is properly awful.



BCLF: Tell us a joke!

PF: What do you call a French man wearing sandals? Philippe Phlop (you need to say it with a terrible French accent)

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