Kate Forsyth is an Australian fantasy author, best known for the Witches of Eileanan series, and the Rhiannon's Ride series, which is also set in Eileanan. She is an internationally published poet with a collection called Radiance, and has published a novel called Full Fathom Five under her maiden name, Kate Humphrey.
Kate's Ten Questions
What is your favorite childhood book and why?
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
What books from your childhood do you still possess?
I still have thousands of books from my childhood, and now my children read them. Occasionally they fall to bits, and then I have to go and buy a new copy.
As a child, who influenced you reading aloud?
My mother read aloud to me every night, and when we stayed with my aunt, she read to us too.
What do you believe are the benefits gained from reading aloud to children?
It is vitally important to read aloud to children. It is a very close, warm, loving time, when you and the child are at peace and sharing together new worlds of fun and adventure. It allows the child to hear new words, and different types of language than what is heard in everyday speech, and so develops the part of their brain that deals with language. It stimulates their imagination and helps them to visualise in their mind's eye things they have never seen before. It makes the child think and wonder and experience new things in a safe and secure environment, and encourages them to ask questions and open up dialogues with the adult. And it helps you develop a language of communication with the child, fed by the books that you are read together.
Name a book you secretly love, but never admit you read?
I am never afraid to admit to books I love to read! I love children's fiction, for example, and am often bewildered that more adults don't read them. I love reading fantasy, and have no hesitation in saying so. The only reason to ever read is for pleasure!
What book would you choose to read aloud to children?
The books I choose to read to my children depend very much on how old they are. Every night, I read three or four picture books to my three year old books like We're Going On A Bear Hunt, My Dad and Where the Wild Things Are. Then I'll read a small chapter book with my 7-year old he normally reads to me like a Tashi book or a Magic Treehouse book. Then I read an older book with all three of my children. We have just finished The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken (one of the books from my own childhood!), and are just beginning The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien.
What is your favourite movie made from a book you have read?
We love movie adaptations in our family! Recently, our favourites have been The Golden Compass, from the book by Phillip Pullman; The Water-Horse, from the novel by Dick King Smith; Ella Enchanted from the novel by Gail Carson Levine; and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from the C.S Lewis classic.
Who is your favourite book character?
My favourite book characters would be Emilia and Luka Finch, the Romany children in my book The Gypsy Crown.
Where is your special place to read?
I read to the children on my bed every night, and then when they've gone to bed, I read there by myself.
What book are you reading now?
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. I usually alternate fiction with a few chapters of non-fiction
Visit Kate's website at www.kateforsyth.com.au