Five years ago today we lost one of Britain’s best children’s writers.
Kate published a staggering 186 books, writing nearly 100! She was gifted with the ability to explain even the most complicated subjects with sensitive simplicity, from where babies come from, to the periodic table, Kate made non-fiction huge fun and instantly absorb-able.
I found myself being re-educated over the years I spent working with her, her knowledge knew no bounds.
As Julia Eccleshare said in her wonderful obituary “Petty had the gift for friendship”, this was certainly true. Her funeral, in a remote Cornish church overlooking the sea, was literally packed to to the rafters.
Kate was my best friend and I will never stop missing her but I am delighted that so many of her books are still enjoyed today. The Great Grammar Book, our first collaboration, is still selling well some 25 years later!
We had an incredible chemistry. I knew from the moment I met Kate that we would work together for a long long time. Ideas would fly between us, ricocheting around her tiny writing shed. We would sip our espressos and eat our homemade cakes in the Muswell hill sunshine. The air would buzz with our ideas, we would get so excited and so enthusiastic, we would sometimes have to go for walks to calm down!
She was extraordinary. Each and every person who was ever touched by Kate will agree with me in saying, that she will never ever be forgotten.
Kate Petty June 9 1951 – May 22 2007