Interview: Toby Mitchell of children's theatre company Tall Stories

Co-founder on show Brilliant Books for Kids at Edinburgh Fringe


This article is from 2011.

Interview: Toby Mitchell of children's theatre company Tall Stories

Co-founder of Tall Stories, and currently presenting Brilliant Books for Kids at the Fringe, Toby Mitchell tells us about his book choices.

What was your favourite story book as a child?
I had many favourites, but there are two that stick out: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster is like a modern-day Alice in Wonderland, full of clever word-play and ways of seeing the world in entirely new ways. And Rebecca’s World by Terry Nation (creator of the Daleks) is about a young girl from Earth who has a fantastical adventure on a strange planet.

Which book do you most enjoy reading to your own child now?
Apart from any and every Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler book, our favourite right now is Emily Brown and the Thing by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton. Emily Brown and her toy rabbit Stanley try to get friendly monster the Thing to sleep – just like an adult does with a child.

What three books should every under ten have on their book shelf?
Winnie the Pooh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland – to be read in that order – plus the two from question one!

Who would be at your fantasy children’s author dinner party?
Lewis Carroll, AA Milne and Roald Dahl (for the books above); and then CS Lewis and Philip Pullman – because they would have the most fascinating discussion about religion and children’s literature.

Brilliant Books for Kids, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 22–25), 1.45pm, £5 (£4).

This article is from 2011.

Brilliant Books for Kids

Toby Mitchell (co-director of Tall Stories theatre company) reads a selection of fun quirky picture books that children and their adults will enjoy equally. Each book has been exhaustively tested on himself and his son. You know when you're reading a new picture book to a child for the first time and you realise that it’s…


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