Hannah Moffatt on Small! and funny books for kids

Small! by Hannah Moffatt. Book cover and author photo. Photo credit Lisa Garnett Photography.


The book we've sent our Parakeet subscribers this month is both funny and heart-warming in equal measure, a perfect read for younger bookworms and so much fun to read together. Small! stars Harvey, a ten-year-old boy starting yet another new school - but this one's a bit different and he's in for a few giant surprises! Packed with imagination, empathy and humour, this one was an easy pick for our subscription boxes, and we can't wait to share it with subscribers. In the meantime, author Hannah Moffatt tells us more about the book's gentle but important message, and which funny books for kids she recommends you read next.

What inspired you to write Small!?

Small! initially came from a prompt in a writing class I was doing. The teacher asked us to write a scene set in an unusual school. An image of a small boy eating soup from a bowl as big as a bathtub popped into my head - and that boy eventually became Harvey, attempting to survive in Madame Bogbrush's School for Gifted Giants!

Which is your favourite character in the book and why?

It's really hard to have favourites! But I'd have to say Walloping Toenail. He's so welcoming and good-natured. He's just the giant I'd want to greet me if I were starting at a scary new school.

Which would be your favourite subject on Madame Bogbrush's school timetable?

Performance grunting! I love the idea of the giants all bobbing up and down, waving their grunting handkerchiefs. (When I do events in bookshops, I even bring a bag of colourful hankies and encourage kids to have a go - with me leading the way, naturally.)

Is there a particular message you are hoping readers will take away from the book?

Mostly, I hope readers will have fun and revel in the silliness. But if any readers out there blame themselves for things they can't control, I hope they'll learn the same lesson as Harvey: those things aren't their fault.

Why did you choose to write books for this age group?

I'm pretty silly by nature and wanted to write stories that would make me (and hopefully children) smile too. I think 7+ is the perfect age group for that as readers want proper full-length stories with lots of big characters, plot and peril, but they want fun, too. I hope they'll get that in Small!

What was your favourite book as a child?

Tricky! I expect you hear this a lot, but I was a big fan of Roald Dahl. Fantastic Mr Fox was my favourite when I was slightly younger, then The Witches when I was a little older. I still never fully trust women wearing gloves...

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

I love Louie Stowell's Loki series. I've also recently had a good old chuckle at James Harris' Happytown Must Be Dstroyed - his surreal brand of comedy is right up my street.

Can you tell us anything about what the future holds for Harvey?

I don't want to give away too much ... but giants aren't the only creatures studying in the swamp. So don't be surprised if Harvey and Walloping have a run-in with some vampires soon...

Copies of our Small! pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our bookshop.org page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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