I reserved this book online from our local library. When it was time to pick it up, I took my 2-year-old son along and he chose a couple of picture books while we were there.
When I took the books to the counter to get scanned, the librarian snatched them off me, then proceeded to huff and puff and click the computer mouse and sigh. Finally she spoke:
‘When you reserved this book,’ – held up The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – ‘you did it under your library card. You really should have used your son’s card because it’s such a muck around for me to change it over to his name to check it out.’
She thrust the books towards me and turned to do something else.
Did I have the heart to tell her this book was actually for me?
Of course not. I apologised and got out of there quick smart.
So yes, my 17th book in the 100 book challenge is actually a children’s book. And it was so much fun to read.
When I write short fiction, I write about serious themes and emotions. Everyday themes that could happen to anyone. I’m creative with characters and scenes and plots, but generally I stick to realistic events (I dabbled in science fiction once, when I wrote about a one-way trip to Mars, however that was a one-off).
Ahh, but fantasy, in particular children’s fantasy, that must be a lot of fun to write.
There are no boundaries. The children go into a wardrobe and find a magical land. Where a white witch can make it winter forever. Where some animals talk (yet strangely others don’t, then even more strangely others are roasted up for dinner). Where Turkish Delight is a delicacy and girls instinctively ‘fix dinner’ while the boys talk around the fire. This book was filled with so many foreign concepts.
But I went along for the ride. Because I knew it was fantasy. I knew it was for children. My expectations weren’t very high (unlike those I had for Cold Comfort Farm) and my expectations were met. The story was so fantastic that I didn’t question its validity like I did with Charlotte’s Web.
I actually really, really enjoyed it.
My 2-year-old is obviously way too young to read this book, but one day I’ll read it to him. However I’ll remember to reserve the book next time under his name, to save the librarian all that extra stress.
In July 2014 I set myself the challenge to finish 100 must-read books before I die. For my ongoing tally click here.