Chiara Valentina Segré

CHIARA VALENTINA SEGRÉ has a PhD in molecular oncology and works in science communications. She has published several picture books and novels for children. She lives in Milan, Italy

Most Recent Book
Oscar the Guardian Cat book



What do you do when you're in need of some inspiration?

Nothing special. I simply observe the world, inspiration can come from unexpected sources at any moment. The idea for Oscar the guardian cat, which is based on a true story, was born after I read an editorial on the New England Journal of Medicine while waiting for the result of my last experiment in the lab

If you could collaborate with anyone on creating a children's book, who would it be?

J. K Rowling. I have to thank her for two reasons. First, my English has improved a lot since I started to read the Harry Potter books in original language because I couldn't wait two months for the italian translation. The second one is because her style and way of creating plots and characters has really been a source of inspiration for me as a children author.

If you weren't a children's book author/illustrator, what would you do?

This is an easy asnswer :-) Since I can't make a living only out of my writing activity, I also have a "real job". I have been a researcher in oncology for seven years and since 2013 I work as a scientific explainer and science communicator in a no profit organization

What advice do you have for parents and others who are trying to raise readers?

This is a sort of auto-advice I give first af all to myself, as a mother of a 2-year and a 2-month boy. Put good books on a shelf or place where the kids can go and choose on their own, be enthusiastic every time they come to you with one of them even if they start doing something else after two pages. Often propose to read together but if they say "Not now" do not push them. But above all, give a good example. Make sure your children often see you with your nose in a book rather than on a tablet or at the TV.

What do you hope young readers experience from your work?

I hope they will experiment emotions. That they will be touched inside. That my stories will inspire questions, rather than answers, and stimulate a free and critical thinking and new perspectives to look at the complexity of life with new eyes.

How has reading influenced your life?

I can't even imagine my life without reading. As far as I remember, I have pictures of me with a book in my hands. My parents told me I learned to read by myself when I was five and since then I have never stopped. I think that reading can literally save your life. Everyone, sooner or later, will face difficulties, sorrow and desperation in life. Books train your soul, make you stronger, open the door to hundreds of universes where you can find a new purpose when you think you have lost yours.

Do you have a favorite children’s book?

I have many, from italian and non-italian authors. Among the English titles: The Famous Five (Enid Blyton), The Fantastic Flying Journey (Gerald Durrel), His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) and of course the Harry Potter series (JK Rowling)

picture Books

cats · grandparents · death
Oscar the Guardian Cat
friendship · dogs · disabilities
Lola and I


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