Our author of the week is Harry Heape!
Ever wished you could talk to animals? Or become a secret crime fighter? This week's free book, Shiny Pippin and the Broken Forest by Harry Heape and illustrated by Rebecca Bagley, has both! You can also check out an exclusive video with the author, find out Harry's favourite children's books and read a Q&A all about his favourite things to do with reading.
Harry's new book, Indiana Bones, is out now.
If you enjoy reading this book, your local library service has loads more ebooks to borrow for FREE. Ask your parents to help you join.
Watch the video
Harry Heape's recommended reads
You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton, illustrated by David Tazzyman
This is the book that inspired me to become a children’s writer. It is SO funny and like nothing I had ever read before. I laughed so much my sides hurt – what a lovely feeling to get from a book. I knew as soon as I started reading this book that I wanted to try and write funny stories for children.
Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
I had to have a Roald Dahl book somewhere in here because I loved them all so much when I was growing up. Mr Fox is such a cool character, and Boggis, Bunce and Bean are the best baddies. Mr Fox escaping from the horrible farmers is so tense and exciting. What a story!
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket is a master storyteller, I love the way he guides the reader through his tales of the desperately unlucky Baudelaire children as they are endlessly chased by the deliciously horrible Count Olaf, who wants to steal their fortune.
Q&A with Harry Heape
If you could be a storybook character, who would you be?
I really like sweets, so I am going to say Willy Wonka, the greatest inventor of sweets the world has ever seen. I’d be the owner of a magical chocolate factory, with a chocolate river. YES PLEASE – I’ll be him thank you very much for asking. The first thing I would invent would be a Jelly Baby that was the size of a teddy bear.
What is the best thing about reading?
The best thing is that when you read, you can disappear into the magical world of a book. You can visit Hogwarts, fly on the back of a dragon, score a goal in a cup final, be a Roman Centurion, anything and everything is possible when you dive head first into a book. And how wonderful to have all of this available to enjoy whenever you want!
What is your all-time favourite book?
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. This is the second book in his Dark Materials trilogy. In this book Will and Lyra move between worlds looking for Lyra’s father. Will uses a knife to slice open little doorways between these different worlds. The book is a real page-turner and full of the most fantastic ideas. Amazing that all of this came from inside one man’s incredible brain box.
What can you do to get better at reading?
Just like anything else, all you need is practice. The more you do it, the better you become. If you read, you are giving yourself a gift of being able to dip into wonderful worlds whenever you want to. Also, the more you read, the more clever you become, so it is like growing an imagination superpower. Your writing will improve at the same time, which is brilliant.