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With the “big day” just around the corner, author and illustrator Sam Usher tells us a bit about his fondest Christmas memories and the creation of his latest picture book Snow

authorWhat are your earliest memories of Christmas as a child?
Decorating the tree – we used to put real candles on it and sit round reading our Christmas books, listening to carols, eating cake. Perfect!

Which books did you enjoy as a very young reader?
The earliest books I can remember are by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – Peepo, and Each Peach Pear Plum and The Jolly Postman. My all time favourite book is How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen, by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake.

Favourite Christmas gifts?
I used to love getting piles of second-hand books, or piano music. Things that would still be bringing me happiness months even years later.

Which is your favourite illustration in your new book Snow?
The best picture in Snow is when Boy looks out of the front door for the first time and sees the pristine snow.
Watch out for the footsteps a few pages later though…

Can you tell us a bit about what you are working on next?picture
I’m working on a black-and-white chapter book, which is a totally different discipline to picturebooks, as well as two more picturebooks for other authors. I have another picturebook of my own in the works, with some new characters, and I have some good ideas for further books with Boy and Grandad.

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