What's it like to be in someone else's shoes? In this series, Deputy Editor Fran Price invites an author or illustrator to describe a typical creative day. This month, we share footwear with picture book author and My Book Corner founder Emma Perry.

A day in the life of... me?? Are you sure?

I had to give this one some thought, more precisely to choose WHICH day to tell you about. 😉

Three days a week I’m a Year 1 teacher. I think my class are adorable but not sure that would make interesting reading for the SCBWI website, plus the near miss at the end of term with the sick bowl might well put people off their brekkie / lunch / everything. Not a good start.

So that leaves my writing days… well, urm. Who’d like some procrastination tips? I’m VERY good at those. A tricky writing day for me involves lots of procrastination in the form of cleaning, faffing and peeking at my current WIP through my fingers to see if it’s magically improved. I tend to chip away at my work, in chunks and bits, until it starts to form a shape that I’m vaguely happy with. 

I Don't Like Books. Never. Ever. The End was Emma Perry's debut picture book

But I’ve just come to the end of an amazing, tiring and full-on week that’s made me feel very lucky – so maybe I should pick one of those days… with a clear disclaimer that most days are not like this (see above!).

Bags packed – with books and costumes and soft toys and plenty of water – I turn on the Sat Nav and head off to the first library on my spreadsheet. I’ve been invited (along with other illustrators and writers across the summer) to come into the library and deliver sessions to school groups. I’m greeted at my first library with smiles and offers of hot drinks and biscuits – this is a place I know I’m going to love.

The librarians have been working so hard. It strikes me how excited, keen and enthusiastic they are to be inviting whole class groups back into their library, back among the books, back among the adventures and worlds tucked inside them.

A tricky writing day for me involves lots of procrastination in the form of cleaning, faffing and peeking at my current WIP through my fingers to see if it’s magically improved


This is the start of the Summer Reading Challenge. Emma Fisher greets me and tells me about their plans to roll out library cards to all the children. It’s a four-year plan, and this year they are focusing on the current Reception and Year One groups – every child will be given a library card, and encouraged into their local library to enjoy the plethora of books on offer.

I set Mabel on the shelf next to her book, blue monkey nestles next to Alfonso… and I hear them before I see them. Hooray! The first class of the day has arrived.

This is what I love doing.

We dive into I Don’t Like Books – the audience are very appreciative of the costumes. Tick! We create our own stories, look at how books are created using This Book Has Alpacas and Bears, and then we… jump into puddles when we go PUDDLING!

Emma Perry's first two picture books were published by David Fickling Books

Sad fact of the day… a little girl came up to me at the end to say, their school has BANNED them from jumping in puddles. Sad times.

I like to change things a little with each group, reacting to their energy. My last group of the day were super switched on despite the heat… so I treated them to the first EVER reading of Know It Owl. Well, it turned out that their class name was… OWL, hehehe perfect timing there!

Know It Owl is published by Storyhouse Publishing

The main message of the day, of the week, was how open, friendly and lovely libraries and the librarians inside them truly are. This is the summer to get the children back into the libraries, grabbing bundles of books to help launch them on their very own book journey. Forever.

And ever.

The end.


*Header image by Alex Crump; all other images courtesy of Emma Perry


Emma Perry is a children's book author, a teacher, the founder of MyBookCorner and organiser of International Book Giving Day. She loves books so much her first two books were about... books! After the publication of I Don't Like Books and This Book Has Alpacas and Bears, she ventured outdoors with two books celebrating being outside - Puddling! illustrated by Claire Alexander, plus Know It Owl illustrated by Andrea Stegmaier

Instagram @emmaperry


Alex Crump is an illustrator based in Wiltshire, with past careers as both a teacher and a zookeeper, as well as other current side lines of storyteller and charity/museum educator.
Instagram: @alexcrumpillustration

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