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29th Jun, 2022

Writer hopes for a stellar hit

Worcester Editorial 26th Jun, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A CITY writer is looking to have his name written in the stars with the release of a high-flying new book.

Petr Horacek’s The Mouse Who Ate the Moon, which was published earlier this month, has already received widespread acclaim, including being named as The Times book of the week.

The picture-story, published by Walker Books, is a follow on from the 46-year-old’s 2004 tale, A New House for Mouse, which won the best picture book of the year in 2008 in Holland.

He told the Observer: “I was on holiday in Greece in 2012 and my editor called me and said why don’t I do something with the same mouse.

“I’m not really keen on replicating the same book and because it was such a long time since the book was published, I didn’t think I could do it the same way.

“I was having doubts, but I really enjoyed remembering how it was to do the first book, so I started to sketch this one and by the end of the day I had an idea for the mouse and the moon.

“I was very worried I would try to repeat myself so I just didn’t look at the old book, just did it from scratch, and luckily it worked.”

Petr moved to Worcester in 1995 after studying fine art in Prague and worked as a technician at The King’s School, where he was given his first taste of publishing when he illustrated a book for the mother of one of the students.

The author, who does his own illustrations, has received a host of recognition for his books, including the first piece he published in 2001, Strawberry Saga, where he scooped the best newcomer award.

“The reason I enjoy the illustrations is you’re still working with paint,” he added. “You’re still drawing and it’s the closest thing to fine art I used to do.

“With children’s books you know who your audience is, you know who you’re working with. I’m lucky to be with Walker Books, they are people who are very committed to what they do and care about good quality books.

“These books are incredibly important for people growing up, they develop your imagination, the stories are actually happening in between the pages and you’re brain is always working.

“I’m very lucky in doing what I’m enjoying, so that’s a good thing, and of course you want your books to be seen and read by children, so as long as they’re doing well, I’m happy.”

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