I am a professor at the University of Cambridge, UK, and my specialism is children's literature. When I say this to people at dinners they stare at me and ask: "Do they pay you to read kiddie books?" Yes, they do. Although I have written about many particular children's authors, including British, North American, Australian, Scandinavian and Russian, my main interest is the Big Questions: what makes children's literature children's literature, as opposed to other kinds of literature. To address this, you need to start by asking: What is a child? Then: What is literature? And then you go on for about forty years. I have written about fantasy as one of the most prominent and respected genres within children's literature; about contemporary, or "post-modern", complex and challenging children's literature; about time and space; about food - eating and being eaten; about children's literature characters - who they are, what they do and how we get to know them; and about the power relationship between children and adults, within and outside books. I have also written, together with a colleague, a book about picturebooks, and edited and co-edited essay collections. I read books for fun as well.