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An interview with debut author Christine Kidney

Christine Kidney

Buy The New Baby and Me 

Christine Kidney is the author of our book The New Baby and Me. She graduated from Cambridge with a degree in English, after which she worked in publishing as an editor. We interviewed her about parenting, working with Hoda Haddadi and The New Baby and Me. You can read it below:

How would you sum up The New Baby and Me?

A little story about the big issues of identity and imagination.

What can The New Baby and Me offer parents, or anyone involved in a child’s life, such as teachers or librarians?

On the one hand this is to help parents talk with their little children about a new baby who may be arriving. I hope it also reflects how children can be both omnipotent beings in their own world, full of curiosity, imagination and dreams, and at the same time incredibly open to the difference in others. I often think we need to remember this more – we all begin like this.

What’s your favourite thing about The New Baby and Me?

The New Baby and Me
The New Baby and Me

I really like the dreamy sections, where each child imagines themselves in the future. I love how the illustrator ran with this and picked up the everyday environment to show how children can use what’s around them to play creatively – and totally immerse themselves in their imagination.

The award-winning Iranian illustrator Hoda Haddadi worked as the illustrator on this project. What was the best thing about having her illustrate The New Baby and Me?

I think her artwork is incredible. The hand-crafted quality gives it a playful meaning and depth and I can imagine little children coming back again and again to this to ‘read’ their way around her images.

Do you have any children or siblings yourself? And, if so, how would you introduce a new sibling into the mix?

I have two children, a girl aged twelve and a boy aged fourteen who would both be absolutely horrified if I introduced a new sibling into their lives at my ripe old age. There is no rule book for this, but I think on the whole you can’t go wrong by telling children the truth and by plying them with praise and love.

The New Baby and Me
A brother dreams of his new sibling

Do you have any plans for the future which you can tell us about?

I do have plans for a longer book, which is quietly simmering away on the small hob of my imagination. In the meantime, in my other life as a counsellor, I think play and creativity are central to the lives of children (of all ages) and I hope to develop that part of my professional life in the coming year.

  • Read this lovely review of The New Baby and Me by Parents in Touch
  • Check out Christine’s response to our wordless picture books campaign

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Posted in Authors, Blog