‘I believe… people like us take writing children’s books seriously, because we take writing seriously. These books, at their best, are primers in the development of the emotional, the moral, the imaginative life. And they can be a celebration of what it is like to be a human being. That is why they are important.
I seem to remember that on some other occasion I made the observation that for me getting involved in children’s books was like going through the gate into an enchanted grove – which was perhaps a rather exaggeratedly poetical way of saying that I was having a nice time; but also, of course, more than that. I also might have said that for the reader it was like going through a gate into a rich and varied landscape. it was indeed a landscape so varied that one can be at loss about what of many paths to take.’
Taken from the Preface of ‘1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up’, HarperCollins 2009