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As someone with absolutely no knowledge of cricket, I found so much enjoyment in diving into the world of this sport through the pages of this book! As the third instalment in the Stupendous Sports series, Cracking Cricket is a delightfully entertaining read that will undoubtedly captivate the imagination of children. Bursting with intriguing facts, entertaining jokes, and captivating player spotlights, this book is sure to engage not only children, but also adults who want to delve deeper into the wonders of this extraordinary sport.
Cracking Cricket is structured in an easily accessible manner, beautifully accompanied by incredible illustrations by Matt Cherry. It not only delves into the rich history of cricket, but also provides exciting information about players all whilst also exploring the intricacies of the game itself. The inclusion of gripping statistics and insightful quotes throughout the book adds an extra layer of excitement. It is clear that a great deal of research has gone into creating this book and all in perfect time for the ICC (International Cricket Council) World Cup 2023!
I’d like to thank Robin Bennett for joining us in the VIP Reading blog to talk about his third instalment in the Stupendous Sports Series, Cracking Cricket!
Congratulations on another incredible book! We are huge fans of the Stupendous Sports series and are delighted to be working with you again Robin.
1. What can you tell us about what to expect from Cracking Cricket?
Jokes, fascinating facts and cricket skills that will amaze your friends and confuse your enemies.
2. There are some incredible stories throughout the book about famous cricketers. I was fascinated reading about William Gilbert Grace and the fact that not only was he an incredible cricketer but he was also a doctor. Perhaps a difficult question, but if you could choose your favourite cricketer who would they be and why?
Tough question. I suppose I’m going to have to go for possibly cricket’s greatest all-rounder, Ian Botham. It’s very rare one player can win a series, but he did that in the 1981 Ashes and he once came to our school and made us all laugh.
3. The book is full of incredible facts and statistics. How much research did you have to carry out in order to write Cracking Cricket?
Lots, but it was fun – I learned a lot and found out some surprising things: like Cricket was once played in the Olympics (between France and Britain).
4. You obviously have a passion for writing about sports! Why did you decide to create the Stupendous Sports series and how important do you think it is that children learn about sports in this way?
I wanted to write something that would have got me reading, aged 10. I wasn’t much of a reader, but I would have read anything about sport, especially if it was funny and made me a better player. I think there might be quite a few kids out there who feel the same way. Plus, you don’t have to be good at a sport to enjoy reading about it!
5. Can you tell us a little bit of what the writing process looks like for you?
I’ve learned that to write professionally you need to write every day and anywhere, so I’ve tried to do away with a ‘process’ as much as possible so that I can write on trains, in the car, at home, at the swimming pool etc. That said, I usually start the day by reading over (and correcting!) what I wrote the day before, then I do the bulk of my writing after lunch and plan what’s next after dinner.
6. You have worked with illustrator Matt Cherry on all of the Stupendous Sports books so far and they complement each book brilliantly. Can you explain a little about the process of working with an illustrator? How much involvement do you have?
With Matt I’m very involved, which is not always the case. I start by writing all the chapters, then give him the first draft, plus notes about where I think illustrations should go. He then sketches out what he thinks works and we discuss changes and additions. Basically, anything that makes us both laugh is in! And we always leave 3 or 4 rogue illustrations for the end – like the flick diagram at the back of the book. Everyone likes a flick diagram.
7. Do you have any plans to write another book for the series next year? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
The next one is going to be a tough call – not sure whether it should be Basketball, Tennis, Hockey or Swimming … or something else. Perhaps some of the readers can suggest something?
8. Can you describe Cracking Cricket in three words?
Fun and facts
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and answer these questions for us, Robin!
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