Making a big splash! A H Benjamin is a children’s author based in Cleethorpes. His new book ‘The Big Splash’ is a wonderful way to get kids interested in reading and seems relevant to our issue on all things coastal. With thirty titles to his name, his books have sold worldwide with over twenty
sea or the coast? I love the sea and I’m lucky to live in
them, they won’t like it; be their friend,
translations including Chinese, Korean,
Cleethorpes. Most of the ideas I have
see everything from their perspective…
Turkish and Arabic.
come to me when I’m walking. Quite
And above all, be honest.
Some of his work has also been adapted for radio, television and theatre. We sit down with him on a sunny day at the seafront and ask him all about his
often I take a stroll along the beach or the promenade for inspiration. Little ideas
With ‘The Big Splash’ do you think
pop into my head just like dream
parents will read it with their children
or do you think children will take a look through in their own time?
writing. What other authors do you admire, How did you get into writing books for children, is it something you’ve always done?
both children’s and adults? My favourite children’s author is without a doubt Roald Dahl. In my
The Big Splash is quite a simple story really. It has familiar words, rhythm and repetitions and that’ll make it easy to follow. I think after children have heard
opinion he has no equal. He’s simply a
the story a few times they will remember
genius, the true children’s writer! My
most of it and will want to read it
- made up on the spot! It was fun for
favourite book of his is James and the
both of us. Then I decided to write the
When my eldest daughter was about three I started telling her bedtime stories
stories and that became a hobby. After a
I’m not sure I have a favourite
few years I tried my luck with magazine
author for adults
and annual publishers and I was
but if I had to pick
surprised how successful I was. Then in
one it would be John
1987 I had my first picture book, The
Steinbeck. He’s a
King Bird, published by Andersen Press.
What a joy! What do you think What inspires you to create these
makes a good story
for children and do
To me an inspiration can be anything:
you have any tips for
a phrase, an action, a situation, a mental
those interested in
picture… Anything like that can trigger
an idea for a story. However, most of the
A story, be it for
time I rely on my lively imagination. I
children or adults, must have
daydream. I make up things in my mind.
the proper ingredients: an
I create a problem and I try to solve it.
interesting storyline, a solid
That’s how a story is born.
plot, credible characters and a strong narrative. If you wish
Being based on the Lincolnshire coast,
to write for children respect
would you say you are inspired by the
them first; don’t preach to LINCOLNSHIRE TODAY