“I started with characters,” [Birdsall] said. ”I wanted to write about four sisters—obviously a ‘Little Women’ thing. What I loved about books when I was a child were characters’ reactions to interesting situations, rather than highly plotted books. That’s what I always saw, even in ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Little Women’ and E. Nesbit’s and Edward Eager’s magical books.”
Loads of other riches at Big A little a today, including word of a new Dick King-Smith novel (hoorah!), an interesting quote about the particular challenge of finding a picture book that can stand up to the rigors of a hundred read-alouds in a row, and links to dozens of children’s book reviews. Great site.