Isabel Thomas

This month we are delighted to profile the engaging work of Isabel Thomas who has written more than 150 books for young people.

What was your favourite childhood book and why?

I’m always stumped by this question! Although I read lots of fiction as a child, I never once came across a character like me – who shared the joys and the worries and the responsibilities of being part of a single parent family. The book I do remember loving (and still have) is a huge, green Mitchell Beazley Family Encyclopedia of Nature. I was in primary school when I began researching every homework task in-depth – it seemed such an easy way to make my writing more interesting and to get good marks, I couldn’t understand why everyone wasn’t doing it!

Which of your own published books is your favourite and why?

It’s a picture book called Moth: An Evolution Story. I studied evolution, ecology and animal behaviour at university, and I had always wanted to explain evolution in a way that children (and grown-ups) of any age can understand. I began with The Misadventures of Charles Darwin for KS2 and was over the moon when I got the go-ahead to write Moth to explain natural selection to even younger children. Natural selection is like the ABC of biology – an essential foundation for answering children’s brilliant questions about living things.

Why do you choose to read?

I’ve written hundreds of books and articles, but I always remind people that I didn’t know ANY of the things I’ve written about until I read about them! Reading gives me VIP access to the ideas, discoveries and adventures of hundreds of thousands of other people. It’s like having a huge team helping me out! I love reading fiction to relax, but I’m not very good at reading stories in little chunks. I have to save fiction until holidays, when I can gobble up whole book in one greedy gulp.