5,4,3,2,1 Interview: Helen Docherty

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read Helen and Thomas Docherty’s Snatachabook I suggest your get on that. It’s a super fun book that I’m looking forward to reading aloud to my third graders.

I asked Helen my 5,4,3,2,1 questions.

Happy reading!

1. I give the interviewee 5 questions

2. They have to answer

• 1 question with 5 sentences

• 1 question with 4 sentences

• 1 question with 3 sentences

• 1 question with 2 sentences

• 1 question with 1 sentence

3.  They get to pick which question which question to answer with each number of sentences

4. Have fun!



1. Can you tell us a little bit about Snatchabook?

All the books in Burrow Down are being mysteriously snatched away at story time each night. Who is taking them, and why? And what will happen when our heroine, Eliza Brown, catches the book thief?

2. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Performing  a story to a group of school kids, and watching them get really excited.  Also, the moment when you realize that you’ve hit upon a good idea for a story or name for a character.

3. What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

All those other moments, when you’re trying really hard to think up an original storyline but not getting anywhere in particular.

4. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?

I would pick Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, which was one of my favourites when I was a child. Tom is sent – against his will – to stay with his aunt and uncle, and one night he hears their clock strike thirteen. Venturing outside, he discovers that their ‘poky back-yard’ turns out to be a beautiful garden, where he finds a curiously old-fashioned playmate, Hatty. But he never knows what season it will be in the garden, or how old Hatty will be each night… I have always longed to stumble upon a secret midnight garden like Tom’s!


5. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?

Spend a lot of time at your local library. Find books that you love and read them (over and over again if you like). Think about what it is that you love about your favourite books. When you write, don’t worry about other people might think; try to write the kind of story that you would choose to read.


Helen Docherty, October 2013


2 thoughts on “5,4,3,2,1 Interview: Helen Docherty

  1. Helen, I read SNATCHABOOK at Barnes just the other day, and loved it! The illustrations go beautifully with your story, too 🙂 Absolutely adorable. I’ll be recommending it!

    And also, thanks for mentioning TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN. Wasn’t aware of it and it sounds enchanting. Just ordered it from the library 🙂 Thanks for the interview!


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