This book was illustrated by Sian Bailey. Her beautiful drawings help to make this, probably, my favourite book. One of the pictures shows an old farmhouse near where I used to live. I’ve known a lot of people who have moved to the countryside from the town and tried to do up old places on their own.
It’s harder than it looks, as Dad finds out in the story.
Green Fingers went through lots of changes before it was finished, but one thing always stayed the same, and that was the character of Kate. She’s someone who has great ideas but has always been in trouble at school because she’s not very good at reading. I love Kate’s determination. She just won’t give up, whether it’s hoeing a row of vegetables, or teaching herself to read, or making a garden for her mum.
Kate is not based on any one person, but I’ve spent years teaching children who weren’t very good at reading. Plenty of them were bright and clever, but simply found reading difficult. This book is for all of them, although, as one reviewer pointed out, they’re not likely to read it!