Miranda Gore Browne, brilliant baker and Story Time narrator, on reading with children and Gingerbread Men!
• We know you primarily as a star baker and a mum! How did come to be a narrator on the Toddler Fun Learning Channel?
Earlier in the year I worked with Ladybird to create two baking podcasts and little films. One of these was all about Peter Rabbit and we baked Milk and Blackberry bunnies a recipe for little cakes that can be found in my book Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can. The recipe was inspired by my love of all things Beatrix Potter. Knowing my love of children’s stories, Ladybird asked me if I would like to read some bedtime stories as part of their collaboration with Toddler Fun Learning and I couldn’t resist!
• What was the best bit about filming the stories?
I loved reading the stories and imagined that I was reading them to my own children cuddled up in bed. I enjoyed making some special biscuits to take with me and to munch at the end of reading ‘The Gingerbread Man’!
• As a mum, how do you think children benefit from listening to stories being read to them?
Reading stories at bedtime is a very special part of the day. It is a time when we can snuggle up and forget the rest of the world, a time when we can escape into adventures together, a time to discuss troubles or put them to one side, a time to reminisce and remember the things I loved about the same stories when I was little and my parents read them to me. We love talking about the pictures and the way things are phrased. It has helped my children hugely with their vocabulary, reading and use of words but it also gives us precious time together when nothing but the story matters.
• What’s your favourite story to read to your own children?
We have so many favourites. We adore The Flopsy Bunnies, Mrs Tiggywinkle and naive Jemima Puddle Duck. My father adores trains and my sons are called Thomas and Henry so Thomas the Tank Engine has regularly appeared in our bedtime adventures. We couldn’t manage without Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Danny, Fantastic Mr Fox or indeed the BFG and once we have finished reading together my eldest two always go to sleep listening to these on CDs! Little Grey Rabbit, Brambly Hedge, The Princess and the Pea and the Flower Fairies were favourites from my childhood. We also love that raggedy rascal Hairy Maclary and the cheekiness of Charlie and Lola! Oh and I mustn’t forget the much loved Winnie the Pooh and Swallows and Amazons.
• What was your favourite book as a child?
Probably Mrs Tiggy Winkle, Winnie the Pooh and Swallows and Amazons….sorry I can’t possibly choose just one!
• Can you reveal any of the stories to come?
I can’t reveal too much but but there will be lots of exciting stories, pirates, princesses, boys with magic beans. And one story is a particular favourite as it’s a story I loved to read to my little brother when he was little!!
Thanks so much Miranda, we are really looking forward to more Story Time stories and to baking those delicious sounding Gingerbread Men!