Katie Cleminson: 

Magic Box

 

 

A PopFam Exclusive Interview

 

What do Terrell Owens, Madonna, Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tiki Barber have in common with children’s writer Katie?

 

Absolutely nothing! Thank goodness!

 

Those “celebrity authors” of kids’ books? Well, let’s just say their writing leaves something to be desired…like, you know, skill and imagination.

 

Ah, but newcomer Katie…now there’s a different story. This young woman from England has actual talent and creativity. Her debut picture book, Magic Box, is proof of that.

 

Magic Box is the tale of Eva, a young girl on her birthday. Thanks to Eva’s fanciful imagination, an ordinary box becomes a magic portal to adventure… especially when Monty (a polar bear) shows up! (We can’t tell you more—we want you to be surprised when you read it!)

 

Magic Box such a breath of fresh air we at FamilyfFans.com ended up reading it to every child we could find. We had such a good time, we finally had to talk to Katie herself to find out more. Care to listen in?

 

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PopFam.com:

 

To start off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Katie:

 

I live in a little house in the English countryside, about an hour from London. I love my job. Magic Box is my first picture book, I created it at college, and I started working on it with my publisher before I graduated. I do my best work in my pajamas…But Shh! Don’t tell anyone!

 

PopFam.com:

 

What prompted you to write—and illustrate—Magic Box?.

 

Katie:

 

I wanted to create something light, bright and full of movement!

 

PopFam.com:

 

What was memorable for you about creating this unique picture book?

 

Katie:

 

Probably having so much fun painting the backgrounds! And getting covered in ink. I also spent a lot of time studying the movement of polar bears. They really are the most beautiful animals to draw!

 

PopFam.com:

 

OK, now tell us a “behind the scenes” secret or two about your book!

 

Katie:

 

Originally Eva was called Ava…

 

The pose of the crocodile asleep (on one of the last pages) was drawn from my dog, Bella, sleeping….

 

I watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, and some of their dance moves are in the book.

 

PopFam.com:

 

Fun! Magic Box takes place on Eva’s birthday. What's your favorite "birthday story" from your own childhood?

 

Katie:

 

I really enjoyed my 7th birthday as my mother baked me a lovely cake—and decorated it to look like a cat! It had liquorice whiskers and I really loved it. We had some great birthday cakes.

 

PopFam.com:

 

Tell us more about Eva. What should every child know about her?

 

Katie:

 

Every child should know that Eva has great style…and that a stripey t-shirt and cape is definitely a good look!

 

PopFam.com:

 

What about Monty the polar bear?

 

Katie:

 

Monty is my favourite character, I love drawing him the most.

 

PopFam.com:

 

What advice would you give to parents about reading Magic Box to their children?

 

Katie:

 

Enjoy it! After you’ve read it, see if you can count how many rabbits are in the whole book, or have a go at drawing Monty the bear.

 

PopFam.com:

 

Anything else you'd like to say to PopFam readers?

 

Katie:

 

Magic Box is all about the power of your imagination. Eva has more fun with the box and her imagination than any present would have given her. Get your kids writing stories, drawing, painting and making up their own games to play!

 

--MN

 

All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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Katie Cleminson