My interview with Catherine Emmet.

It’s time for another #ChatWithThePBLady

Today, I’m talking to Catherine Emmet.

Do you have a favorite word? 


Favorite wild animal? 

It would have to be a gorilla! 

What do you do to relax? 

I run or swim to relax, and then once I am relaxed, I can write! 

Donuts or bagels? 

Bagels — but only if cinnamon and raison 

Let’s talk about THE PET. It’s described as a laugh out loud story. Are there any lines that you found particularly funny? 

One publisher always said that they’d loved the line: 
‘And though his hairy hands were big, 
He gently groomed the guinea pig’ 
And I think that has now become one of my favourites too! 
It’s funny as I never really set out to write a funny story, but people seem to be laughing a lot, which is great! 

The book also says that it’s a cautionary tale for children and adults. Can you talk about this? 

As I’ve grown older and had children, I’ve definitely noticed the traps that parents can fall into with their kids (me included!). What is a short-term fix today can so easily become a longer-term nightmare! Often when kids scream and stamp to get what they want, it is simply because they have learned that that is the what works. So, the book was intended as a light hearted look at the behaviour of kids AND their grown-ups — who may have inadvertently encouraged such behaviour! 

Where did your inspiration for this story come from? 

When I was younger I really, really wanted a dog. I begged and begged my Dad to get me one and wrote a long letter promising to look after him! After much begging I finally received a puppy for my birthday! And did I walk him every day as promised? Well… maybe not EVERY day! But I promise I was never as bad as Digby! The book is dedicated to my Dad to say sorry for making him walk my dog instead. 

Do you have more humorous picture books planned for the future? 

Yes! I have another out in 2023 with Simon and Schuster and hopefully something funny out with Macmillan next year! 

Interview continued in the picture below…

Pan Macmillan

Illustrations by David Tazzyman

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