Barnboksveckans gäster 2015 : Antonis Papatheodoulou

Antonis Papatheodoulou skriver barnböcker för alla, barn som vuxna. Han är fast övertygad om att barnböcker kan påminna om hur färgrik och lekfull världen är, eller skulle kunna vara!

Why did you become a children’s books author? Where you interested in stories and pictures as a child, or was it your own child that needed stories, or is it a way to make the world a better place to live in?

As a child, I loved inventing imaginary worlds. I did it by drawing, building cities with my toys, playing outside with my friends. Very soon I realised that it was with words that I felt more free and comfortable to create my own worlds. Growing up I realized that by creating imaginary worlds you can help make the real one a better place. So I could do what I like most with a purpose.

Do you write also for adults?

I once published a collection of poems. But nothing more than that. The truth is, I write children’s books for everyone. Even adults can choose to read them…

Do you believe that children’s books should be read by grown-ups as well?

I really do. Children’s books remind you of how colourful and playful our world is… or should be. We tend to believe that growing up means to forget all that.
Do you remember when and where your first text was published and how it felt?

Yes. But it wasn’t exactly published. It was a theatre play I had written in fifth grade. And when I saw it performed by my fellow students I was so happy that I felt… invisible. But invisible, in a beautiful way. As if I were everywhere at the same time, or with my friends on stage but only they, could see me.

Do you have a favorite among your books?

Can I pick three favourites? “The City that drove out War”, because it addresses the war vs peace subject in a very personal way. And “The good and the bad pirates” because it makes children laugh out loud whenever I read it. And the mix & match “When I grow up I can become…”, because it reminds children that the future belongs to them and they can do or be whatever they want, no matter how crazy or impossible it may seem.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on the story of an Octopus whose every arm has a different profession and really funny things happen when he confuses one arm with another… I am also working together with another writer on a book series that will give young children the opportunity to actively participate in projects to support refugees and the fight against hunger. We call our hero Dino-saur playing with the greek word “dino” that means “to give”.