I was saddened to hear that Sam McBratney, author of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’, has died. His most popular book was first published when my daughters were three and five, the perfect age, and it was one of our bedtime favourites.
‘Guess How Much I Love You’ also means a lot to me because it inspired me to write picture books. Its simple message of family love, enhanced by Anita Jeram’s charming illustrations, made me think I’d like to write something similar. It led to the character of Little Fox brought to life by Rosalind Beardshaw in my first book, ‘My Little Star’ (later reissued as ‘Daddy’s Little Star’).
With their endearing, gangly limbs and countryside stomping grounds, Little Nutbrown Hare and Little Fox are cousins, of a kind. I could imagine the two illustrators, Anita Jeram and Rosalind Beardshaw, linking the characters arm-in-arm and sending them off to play together, fast friends.
And on the theme of friendship, Sam McBratney has left a parting gift. Today sees the launch of his and Anita Jeram’s new picture book, ‘Will You Be My Friend’, where Little Nutbrown Hare makes friends with a little snow-white hare. It’s available on the ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ website, alongside lots of fun, downloadable activities for young Little Nutbrown Hare fans.