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Chloe Perrin on His Royal Hopeless and their favourite funny books for kids

His Royal Hopeless by Chloe Perrin. Book cover and author photo.

The book we sent our Cockatoo subscribers this month is a fun, quirky and in places pretty dark take on the classic fairy tale genre. His Royal Hopeless by Chloe Perrin stars Robbie, heir to the Sinistevils, the evilest dynasty in the world. But Robbie isn’t evil. In fact, he’s warm and kind and a bit naïve-  and eternally optimistic. And his mother, the evil queen, can’t bear it. We love the brilliant cast of characters, especially Robbie’s gutsy best friend, Layla, and were enthralled by the atmospheric setting. It’s the perfect autumnal read! Here debut author Chloe Perrin tells us what inspired the book and what other funny books for kids they would recommend you read next.

What inspired you to write His Royal Hopeless?

The first inklings of Robbie came about when I imagined a character stricken with an interminable, annoyingly unshakeable optimism. I then wondered what kind of villain would really make that character suffer. The rest followed on from there!

Are any of the characters inspired by real people, or by particular fictional characters?

I couldn’t possibly say – I think if I said that the Queen was inspired by somebody I’d be in a lot of trouble with that person!

Do you have a favourite place to write?

I’m a bit of grumpy homebody, so my favourite place to write is in my room when all my flatmates are at work. I can clack away at the keyboard in glorious peace and quiet!

Why did you choose to write books for children?

I think children’s books allow everyone to explore big, “adult” concepts in ways that are fun and silly and accessible. I’m a very big believer in the idea that age ranges are merely suggestions.

What was your favourite book as a child?

I grew up on the icon that is Jacqueline Wilson, and her books helped me through a lot. If I had to choose I’d say The Suitcase Kid left the biggest imprint on my heart, closely followed by Midnight.

What other funny books for children would you recommend our subscribers read next?

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett is a great one for children who like big comedic adventures, and the short stories of Paul Jennings are brilliant for those who want something with a little more offbeat comedy a wonderful dose of weird.

Do you think Robbie will make a good king? Why or why not?

I think so, but with a lot of support. It’s good to have a king with his heart in the right place, but we all need a good Layla-like friend to give us perspective. Robbie’s got a lot to work through!

Will there be a sequel and what do you think the future holds for Robbie and Layla?

I’ve got a few ideas knocking about, but it’ll have to remain a mystery for now. As for the future of the friends, Robbie deserves some well-earned respite I reckon, and I can’t imagine the unstoppable Layla doing anything other than changing the world one stitch at a time!

Like the sound of His Royal HopelessGrab a copy along with our bespoke activity pack - available in our shop while stocks last!

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