It’s time for the ‘A-Z challenge’- a post every day in April (except Sundays) working up through the alphabet. This year I will be writing about books that I read before I started this blog, that were important to me in some way. The vast majority are ones I still have on my bookshelf today, despite a move in house and sometimes many years since I first read it.
B is for Beard
Book: Something Horrid by Knarelle Beard
What is it about:
Something Horrid is a picture book about Kylie, a 10 year old girl who is struggling to cope with some big changes in her life. Her mum got married and is expecting a baby, they moved in with her step dad and settled in a new town. She feels like she is the outsider to the new family unit; and is feeling alone and angry. Today was meant to be her swimming awards ceremony, but her mum went into labour, and her (step)grandma’s car broke down- and she is angry at them for not caring about her enough to take her. She is alone in the house with her anger when a strange babysitter arrives- a beast made up of several animals that can go invisible. He has no sympathy for her selfishness, but does want to help her with her real issues, and does so with a little bit of magic, adventure, truthfulness, and self sacrificial love.
When I first read this book:
I was in mid primary school when I first read this book.
Why it is important to me:
The author of this book is a friend of my parents. Not someone I saw all the time, but perhaps once a year throughout my childhood. I found her and her house fascinating. She was a single woman, who lived in a long thin house decorated with plants and artwork and banners from her previous picture book (the King’s decree). She rode a bicycle everywhere, and kept her hair in a long braid, and was a professional artist. I loved that I knew someone who had written and illustrated a book. It is still something that makes me believe I can do it too if I want, or whatever else I choose to bring into the world.
Who should read it:
People who like picture books with a bit of emotional meaning.
People who want to support Australian authors and artists.