Haikus for Aliens: Picture Books

The Guardian interviews Cressida Cowell, Children’s Laureate



Her ultimate aim is to get children “as excited about reading and books as they are about films and telly”.

“Because – I’ll just hit you with it,” she says, leaning forward in her armchair in excitement, “because books are a kind of transformative magic that offer magical things that films aren’t as good at creating in children: empathy, creativity and intelligence. With a film, things happen out there, in a book it’s happening inside your head, so that’s empathy. Creativity – a book is partly what I say and partly what a reader imagines, whereas films are very bossy, they tell you how things would look and how they would sound. Intelligence is words. Those are the three magical powers, that’s why books have to survive – because, my goodness, we need empathetic intelligent creative people today.”


“I think picture books are fascinating, they’re like writing haikus for aliens.”

See how intelligence, creativity and empathy are caught in that simile — haikus for aliens.

And so for day 2484

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