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Cressida Cowell

Why do you think Christmas is a good time to read and do a reading challenge?

I think Christmas is an excellent time to do a reading challenge because it’s cold outside, so you’re snuggled indoors, in bed or in an armchair. It’s a great time to read.

What are your favourite Christmassy books?

I love Christmassy books. There’s a picture book called Mog’s Christmas that I’m very fond of because I remember reading it when I was a kid, and I love reading it with my children. There’s this book called Angelina’s Christmas I love because it’s about thinking about other people, which I think is a lovely Christmassy message. There’s a book called Father Christmas, and there’s also Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, which are very funny, all about the secret life of Father Christmas. I love these books. And a book which isn’t exactly about Christmas, but it’s snowy; it’s about abominable snowmen. That’s a great book, really enjoyable, I’d recommend that – The Abominables. And last but not least, A Christmas Carol, which is a wonderful book about Christmas, and this one is illustrated by Quentin Blake, one of my favourite illustrators. I’m very proud of this particular book. Not only is it a beautiful book, but it’s signed “for Cressida” in the front!

What do dragons do at Christmas time?

This is a very excellent question actually. It’s quite a technical question because different dragons do different things. Some dragons hibernate, in fact most dragons hibernate. Toothless will be hibernating so he’d be sleeping through the Christmas. But then there are a few dragons that are what we’d call Evergreens and they stay awake during the Christmas. But most dragons sleep during the Christmas and they call it something called the Doomsday of Yule rather than Christmas.

What are your top tips for readers?

My reading tips would be to read as much as you possibly can! Particularly if you go to the library, because you can take a book back. You don’t know if you’re going to be interested in it, but you can try it and then put it down. Try out as many different books as you can. Ask advice from friends. If you like a particular series, a particular kind of book, say to your friend, what do you reckon I would like? Or what’s a book that you’ve really enjoyed? Ask a librarian at your school. Ask the online librarian at the Summer Reading Challenge website. It’s always a good idea to ask teachers and people who know about children’s books for their tips and good ideas for books for reading. Another thing I think is a nice thing to do is read with your parents. Even when you can read books on your own. I love reading books with my son and it’s very enjoyable for both of you if you read a book together, so try and get your mum and dad to read you some of the books that you’re interested in. Those would be my tips.