Monday, 28 May 2018

Dinosaurs, Ratty Things, and Pure Undiluted PB juice.

A Book Birthday this month, on the 1st of May. Meet friendless old Stan whose only passion is for money which he never actually spends - he just enjoys counting it. Cue his somewhat overweight Fairy Godmother who can still fly - well she's magic, so no problems there. She's come to, rather reluctantly, give him his obligatory three wishes, but hey! Stan's clever, and take the obvious route of asking for even more wishes. If you want to know what happens next, you'll have to buy the book. It's published by Franklin Watts at Hachette Children's, and you can find it on their website.

It's an old story, of course, and based on greed and its possible consequences. The earliest version was called, I think, HOW THE SEA BECAME SALT, and there's another one about a magic porridge pot. The moral is that greed, and wanting more and more of something without thinking of the consequences, tends to misfire. These ancient stories seem to be in our blood and get re-told again and again, sometimes in novels, and sometimes in children's books like this one, and they're a joy to re-tell and stage in a contemporary setting. NB If you're concerned, Stan's story does have a happy ending.

Recently a colleague on Facebook was talking about a problem she had with doing a bookshop presentation of her factual series about dinosaurs - scientifically accurate illustrated books aimed at children. The shop pointed out that authors usually offered some kind of practical craft-based activity to go along with the talk, which wasn't easy, so friends were coming up with possible ideas.

This set my very strange mind on a very strange route - knitting. Yes, why not "KNITTING WITH DINOSAURS"? Instructions: First catch your sheep. Shear your sheep. Then get one of those too-clever-for-their-whiskers ratty things to invent a spinning wheel. Eat both the sheep and the Ratty Thing (NB those Ratty Things are evolving, and who knows what they might end up as? Far too many of them anyway.) 

Get Mrs Dino to spin the wool. Locate some smooth sticks, or nice, straight bones, then set Mrs Dino to work - after all, she's not much good for anything else apart from laying eggs. ET VOILA! (NB Any self-respecting Tyrannosaurus would, of course, have had a knowledge of French.) Result - Le Sweater Jurassic! Keeps out those night time chills when you're out hunting in the winter, and winters are definitely getting colder...

When I posted this perfectly reasonable suggestion, I was asked by a colleague: "Enid - what are you on?" To which I replied: "Pure undilduted PB juice." Warning: this is what can happen if you get too addicted to picture books.



2 comments:

Griselda Heppel said...

Now I know who leaves all those cosy knitted mufflers on lamp posts and railings - it’s Diknitrodon, with her friend, Textilosaurus Rex. Maybe even a Woolly Mammith or two. Seriously though, what a daft request from a bookshop. Isn’t writing books enough? Do authors have to be artists, craftsmen and circus performers as well to bring the children in? Don’t answer that.

Thatnks for this witty (and knitty) post. Most enjoyable.

Enid Richemont said...

Textilosaurus "Regina" IF you please, ma'am.
And from one evolved Ratty Thing to another,we're supposed to be performing monkeys as well (no offence to monkeys).