Is there a more potent combination for getting kids into books (and writing their own stories or making their own shows) than books that are taken - to use a dreadfully delightful cliche - from the page to the stage?
As a mother of two who's been taking her daughters to the theatre since they were both around 5 months old, I think not. Obviously, you have to read to them, but mix this with taking them to see stage adaptations of their favourite books and watch their imaginations take flight.
Not to mention savouring the conversations about whether the characters looked as they expected or what was different from the book and why or what they would have done had they been telling the story.
My eldest wrote her first book when she was 8 and I'll never forget my youngest, aged around 7 months, watching Tim Bray's production of Badjelly the Witch. She was so spellbound by it that later the actors told me they could all see from the stage her focused and determined gaze and her laughter and hand-clapping.
(For the record, it didn't give her nightmares and she loves Badjelly the Witch but possibly not as much as Margaret Mahy's The Lion in the Meadow which, for a time, she would recite from while out with me supermarket shopping. I apologise, once again, to the mother of the little boy she denounced - loudly - as "making up stories again"; she didn't mean to make him cry but was just trying out her favourite line).
When it comes to master storytellers whose work has been superbly adapted for the stage and the screen, you can't go past Roald Dahl. For starters, most modern kids love his books. Speaking with UK author David Walliams - dubbed the new Roald Dahl - a few weeks back, he noted the timelessness to Dahl's writing.
"... he wrote his books 50 years ago but kids still love them. I'm not sure there'd be many children's films from 50 years ago that kids would sit down and still appreciate."
And who doesn't watch the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and wonder why no one's invented a theme park like that? Or wish they'd been as brainy as young Matilda?
This Christmas, there's a rare chance to catch a professional production of Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine when Australian company Shake & Stir comes to town. While we've all been celebrating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, Shake & Stir have also remembered 2016 marks 100 years since Dahl was born.
The play is faithful to book: George can't stand his Grandma; she complains all the time, she's mean and she smells funny. On one particular day, Grandma is much more annoying than usual and George has had enough. To cure her nastiness, George concocts a spell and it actually works ... in ways he never imagined.
George's Marvellous Medicine director Ross Balbuziente says the book was an absolute favourite of his as a child and still remains a treasured read. Published in 1981 and illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake, it came with the warning to readers: "Do not try to make George's Marvellous Medicine yourselves at home. It could be dangerous."
"We are relishing this rare opportunity to adapt this much-loved book for stage, ensuring kids [of all ages] laugh harder than they have ever laughed before," says Balbuziente. "After all, laughter is the best medicine!"
And so, too, is a little help with Christmas. There will be market stalls and a gift wrapping service - could be handy for all the books we hope you're inspired to buy.
Show contains haze, smoke, strobe effects and loud music but, please note, no
animals (or grandmas) will be harmed. Free Up Your Granny: As a special treat, bring along your Granny for free to special performances on Monday, December 19 at 10am and 1pm. Phone 0800 111 999 to book (service fees apply).