• BookFlap

Tim Wynne-Jones, author & teacher: "It was a bracing moment."

What was the first book you ever read all by yourself?

I’m not sure but I want it to be The House at Pooh Corner. (And I can still read it all by myself.)

What was the first book you bought with your own money?

We never had much money so I was a library kid. I also befriended children with extensive collections.

Have you ever stolen a book? Why/when/where?

Inadvertently, I stole a book from the Vancouver Public Library. I didn’t find it until we were unpacking in our new house in Ottawa. I lived in peril of the library police coming for me.

What book changed the way you look at the world?

At sixteen, I read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, thinking it was, you know, another spy story like the James Bond books. I remember distinctly thinking this is what it will be like to be grown up. It was a bracing moment, a bit depressing. (I’ve read every one of LeCarre’s books and still don’t know exactly what it’s like to be grown up.)

In which fictional house or land would you like to live?

I love Ratty’s bijou riverside residence. And his rowboat. And the picnic baskets he packs.

Tell us a favorite opening line from any children’s book.

"One day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went around to Piglet’s house to see what he was doing."

Choose three adjectives to describe yourself.

Sentimental, apprehensive, keen

What sentence by someone else do you wish you’d written?

“The trick to flying is to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” (Or just about any other line by Douglas Adams)


Where would you most like to go to research your next book?

The Northwest Coast of Scotland


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

If I knew the answer to this question I’d stop doing it.

What book did you look to for comfort during the pandemic?

Books, books, and more books! I’ve never read so much or needed books so much. Interestingly, the predominant venue of my reading during the pandemic has been Berlin in the late thirties and forties.