An interview with AJ Foxx - creators of Mr Hendrix

An interview with Jennifer and Anji Foxx

Creators of the Mr Hendrix adventure picture books

Mr Hendrix and the House That Talks

Mother and daughter duo, Jennifer Foxx and Anji Foxx, have created the Mr Hendrix adventure picture books for pre-school and early years children together, borne from a passion for their Pomeranian puppy, called Hendrix, and creative writing.

How is your book different to others out in the market?

"Our books are different because they are based on a real dog, who is ready and willing to do paw signings at book shops around the country. He is extremely sociable and kind with children and can teach them a lot. They can ask him questions at book signings or on his Facebook page or Twitter account via their parents, and there's a fabulous website packed with news about what Hendrix is doing that day! He has drawn up a contract that allows him to attend all social media events to do with his books. He also has a fantastic wardrobe!"

Who is the target reader?

"Target readers are Mums, Dads, grandparents, aunties, uncles, childminders and nursery teachers, anyone who reads with children aged 2-6 years. Our books encourage the children to start by listening then join over time in as they learn the stories."

How long did it take you to write this book?

"From start to finish we spent two months creating the first book including drawings and print."

Who is your favourite author? What's your favourite book?

Anji: "The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho"

Jennifer - "Tess Gerritsen; I Robot - Isaac Asimov"

Did any authors/books inspire the creation of your book?

"No, it was all down to Hendrix - he provided all the inspiration we needed."

What are your thoughts on the Littlewoods survey that found only 13% of UK parents read bedtime stories to their 0-7 year olds every night?

"Obviously this is a shocking statistic, but perhaps more shocking was the reasons given, such as the 9% who feel too stressed or the 13% who don't have enough time and the 4% who said their children don't own any books at all. From an incredibly early age a child's world can be augmented by the experiences, adventures and endless possibilities available to them in books. Taking five minutes out of your day to sit with your child and read can relax them and you. It is an experience that they will remember for a lifetime."

What are your top tips for parents when trying to engage with their children during story time?

  • Encourage them to interact with you and the story.
  • Make up counting tasks i.e. how many stars on this page?
  • Invite them to ask questions about the characters.
  • Give each character a different voice.
  • Ask them what they think will happen on the next page.

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