I wanted to be a writer from the age of ten. I wrote plays in old triplicate books of my dad’s, tore out the pages and made my friends act in them. Later I went to France and studied at the Sorbonne and to pay my way I worked for an adorable family of seven children. For the youngest, I made up a long serial story, La Famille Ficelle, which years later became my first children’s book, The String Family. I then went on to study at Trinity College, Dublin, after which I got married and got sidetracked into training to be a lawyer. My heart wasn’t in it however, and when I left to have my first baby I decided I should really try to get a book written. I was lucky, The String Family was taken by the second publisher I approached. After its publication I went on to write about 14 children’s books. Later, as my own three children grew up, I began to write articles, some about our life here on a country smallholding. Eventually I moved into travel writing and writing the odd adult non-fiction book. I also compiled features for BBC Radio 3 and 4, wrote two radio plays and one stage play. It was my granddaughter Izzy, who with her comment, ‘You can’t take an elephant on the bus,’ brought me back into the wonderful world of children’s writing, which I am enjoying so much that I don’t intend to leave.
A brand new book You Can’t take an Elephant on Holiday is now available at all good bookshops.
To see children’s author Abi Elphinstone read the story, click on the picture above.
You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus is out as a board book — 26 strong cardboard pages, ideal for the very young!