ALL THE WONDERFUL WAYS TO READ: An interview with Laura Baker

ALL THE WONDERFUL WAYS TO READ: An interview with Laura Baker

Laura Baker joins Ian Eagleton in The Reading Realm to talk about her fabulous new book ALL THE WONDERFUL WAYS TO READ, which is brightly and quirkily illustrated by Sandra de la Prada!

Buy here!

Before we sit down in The Reading Realm to hear about your new book, what’s your drink and snack of choice? 

Thank you for having me! I’m settled in with a lovely cup of golden tea and a cheeky bit of chocolate. I’m a creature of habit, so this is my usual snack around 11am every day – it perks me up and keeps me going!

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about All The Wonderful Ways To Read, which is illustrated by Sandra de la Prada? 

All the Wonderful Ways to Read is a celebration of all types of reading and all kinds of books. It goes through funny poses you might read in (upside down, curled up in a nook, high in a tree), all the types of books children might choose to read (from picture books to graphic novels to non-fiction) and then explores the adventures reading might take you on. All of this is to inspire a love of reading – any book and anywhere. We hope children will start thinking about what type of reader they might be.

The book is a real celebration of all the different ways we can enjoy reading. What are your own childhood memories of reading and books? 

My early memories of reading and books are reading with my parents in my bed. They would sit next to me and read stories, and it’s this feeling of togetherness that has stayed with me. In fact, this book is dedicated to them! I also remember having wobbly stacks of library books piled high on my bedside table as I grew a little older and was reading to myself.

What advice would you give to young readers who say they don’t like reading? 

I think it’s all about finding what works for you. Try out different books – stories but also fact books about your favourite things, magazines, joke books, even activity books where you can draw on the pages yourself. It’s all reading! Remove the pressure, make reading fun, read what you enjoy and the rest will follow.

The illustrations by Sandra de la Prada are so bright, quirky and joyous! Do you have a favourite illustration? Why is it your favourite?

Ah, this is such a tricky question because I honestly love them all! Sandra brought so much humour, warmth and personality to the story, which I think makes it so special. If I had to choose a favourite, I might go with the world map. I just love all the different characters to spot on that page. There’s a character for everyone to identify with! My youngest son and I are the elephants, curled up reading together, while my eldest is the monkey nearby, reading in a tree.

Oh and I love the endpapers! Aren’t they just gorgeous? Which reader are you?

What do you hope young readers might take away from the story? 

I hope they take away a love of reading, of course, but also a feeling of hope and excitement about where reading might take them. Perhaps too a sense of validation that they are a reader, however much or however little they read, however fast or slow they read, and whatever they choose to read too.

The book is a beautiful love letter to books and reading. How would you describe reading for pleasure in one sentence?

Thank you so much! Reading for pleasure is a magical escape for a brief moment, but it can stick with you and take you far.

Finally, can you describe All The Wonderful Ways To Read in three words? 

Celebration, inspiration, special.

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