Marcus Rashford, one of the latest titles in the series, needs little introduction to many of us, but we were so excited when the opportunity came to learn a bit more about the creator of the series, Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and her plans for future books.
• What inspired you to write the series
I have always loved to write stories ever since I was a little girl. I grew up reading about great heroines like Pippi Longstocking, Momo and Tinkerbell — and they inspired me to shape my own stories. Before Little People, BIG DREAMS was ever a thing, I worked as a writer and creative in the advertising industry; and I self-published my first book (which was quite different to the books I make now!) using my own savings. I had all the copies stacked up to the ceiling in my tiny flat in Barcelona, I thought they would fall through the floor! When my nieces were born two years later, Alba and Claudia, all I could find for them were books on fairies and princesses. I thought, I have never seen a princess, but I have seen the work of Coco Chanel, and girls should know about her. What was meant as a birth present for the girls became the very first title in the Little People, BIG DREAMS family!
At first, the books were all about incredible women, as it was what my girls needed to see — but the series has always meant to be about incredible stories, wherever they might come from. So, at first, I picked the women who inspire me, but now, I not only write about those people, but I work with my fantastic editors to tell the stories of people from around the world and throughout history, some of whom I never knew existed. The last book I write is always my favourite, as I’m always learning something new!
Marcus Rashford is a true hero. He not only worked tirelessly to achieve his own dreams, but more importantly, despite all his successes, he has never forgotten where he came from — and he uses everything he has to help others who are less fortunate than himself. He is living proof that it’s possible to follow your dreams, and stay true to your roots. He is so much more than footballer, he’s a hero — because it’s only heroes that can inspire others to stand together for what is right.
Ah, there are so many incredible stories out there! I am very thankful to be publishing the story of Vanessa Nakate next year, who I have been desperate to write about for so long! She was such an incredible person. And one day, I hope to write about a little dreamer out there who might have been inspired by my books to follow their dreams — as all I want is to encourage kids to be true to themselves and to follow their hearts, wherever it takes them.
The Little People, BIG DREAMS series features over 80 inspirational people. They are published by Quarto.
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