What Makes Me A Me? - Ben Faulks and David Tazzyman
Introducing the brand new picture book from Ben Faulks (CBeebies' Mr Bloom) and bestselling illustrator David Tazzyman. Find out more about the book and author below
About the book (+3)
'Who am I?
I ask myself.
What makes me a ME?
I think hard with all my might,
And look around to see.'
What makes you a you? Are you like a sports car – lightning fast? Or maybe you're like a tree… Do your arms stick out like branches? No? Then perhaps you're like a snail – very slow (especially when it's time for school!).
What Makes Me A Me? is a funny and thought-provoking look at what makes us us, from Ben Faulks (known as Mr Bloom from CBeebies) and the bestselling illustrator of You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus, David Tazzyman. Guaranteed to feed the imagination, this celebration of being who we are is perfect for inquisitive and inventive little minds.
About the author and illustrator
Ben Faulks is an actor and writer from Cornwall, best known for his role as Mr Bloom in the CBeebies show Mr Bloom's Nursery – for which he received a BAFTA award nomination in 2011. Ben's picture books include Watch Out for Muddy Puddles! and he lives in Heptonstall, Yorkshire.
David Tazzyman is the bestselling illustrator of the Mr Gum books which have won a multitude of awards, including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. His picture books include The Naughty, Naughty Baddies, The Truth According to Arthur as well as You Can't Take an Elephant on the Bus. He lives in Leicestershire with his partner and their three children.
Meet Ben Faulks
Can you tell us a bit about your new picture book, What Makes Me A Me?
It's a book that follows the thoughts of a small boy as he muses on his place in the world – how it makes him feel and who or what he identifies with.
Where did the inspiration for the book come from?
The idea began to form as I saw my own children growing up and started seeing their personalities evolve. I've always been fascinated by those questions of “where do I come from?” and “what makes me ME?”. Once or twice, there've been occasions when the kids have started off down that route of asking “where did I come from?” or “where was I before I was here?”. It's really interesting to talk about it when they're little, as they're not perturbed if they don't get an answer – it's just a sort of imaginative rumination. It's only as you get older that a potential existential crisis can occur. But that's a story for another day!
The book is all about looking at what makes us us – do you have any tips on encouraging children to be themselves?
It's really interesting to go down the route of talking about 'where did I come from?' when they're little, as they're not perturbed if they don't get an answer… It's only as you get older that a potential existential crisis can occur!
For my part, it's about encouraging children to play freely and to utilise their imagination in as many ways as possible; to express their thoughts and feelings through different mediums and to positively re-enforce these expressions. Let them question everything and prod them for answers.
What is story time like in your house?
The two eldest prefer to read themselves now, so there's only one who gets the picture book treatment. It's a precious time of the day and I'll miss it when it's gone. I'm sure it's similar for everyone: get tucked up in bed with a cuddle, open the book and off you go.
What are you reading now?
Well, I've just finished the entire Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I blitzed it in about five months and loved it. Now I'm reading The Fireman by Joe Hill. It's good, but it ain't no Roland of Gilead!
What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It's a superb read and ticks all the boxes in terms of what I love about stories.
What is your favourite children's book?
Roald Dahl's The Twits. It never gets old. They're a great pair of characters.
Do you have any writing rituals or habits?
I tend to write in the morning, as that's the best time for me. Also, you've got to strike while the iron is hot – if there's an idea or phrase that pops into my head, I make sure I stop what I'm doing and open that can of worms. It's no good to say “I'll have a think about that later on” – it's got to be done there and then.
We ask all winners to share their child's thoughts on the book. Everyone who posts their detailed feedback by midday, Monday 27 November will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.
This giveaway is sponsored by Bloomsbury Children's