When I was little I found books to be my way out from the loneliness of being an only child. As someone who likes to scribble too I adored the Mog books by Judith Kerr and secretly always wished for a certain Tiger to visit our house some evening. Although what the kindly yet hungry tiger would have made of my mothers cooking - he may have had to go elsewhere sooner.
Then there was When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit which, for some reason best left in the past, I didn't associate with being from the author's own life. Yes, I am totally in awe of Judith Kerr. Pink Rabbit should be part of the curriculum in our schools also. Plus more children would learn how enjoyable reading is if they were introduced via the adventures of Mog rather than the set books they have now. I know both my boys would stare at our old cat with a mixture of awe and curiosity whenever we had read a Mog story.
There is something to be said about the ability of an author to bring so much love to a character that readers now grown up would gasp in sadness when spotting a new book where said character dies. Or was that just me?