There is something so truly magical about books. A good book can invoke many emotions as it sweeps you away to an alternate reality. How many times have you picked up a book, finding yourself unable to put it down until the last page has been turned? When we find ourselves held captive by a story, we unwittingly form an unspoken and intimate connection between ourselves and the author. The author, a creative wordsmith who has crafted a tale that not only invokes our imagination, but also allows us to share the vision they so lovingly brought to life.
I think each and every one of us has that 'one' author/book/series that has made a real and lasting impression on our lives. Someone or something that was able to capture our attention and ignite creative magic like no other. For me it was Enid Blyton and the Magic Faraway Tree series. As a child I would spend hours upon hours curled up in bed under my blankets reading these books. I still feel a flurry of butterflies in my stomach when I remember the excitement I felt as a young child, finding myself being swept away into a land of fun and adventure. These memories for me hold little details that I can conjure with ease; details that I am sure, without the connection of such distinctive feelings and emotions, would have been lost in the mists of time. I can remember the sound of rain dancing on my roof, and the rich scent of ozone. I can remember feeling positively cozy as I snuggled deeper into my blankets. I can remember the distinctive smell of the pages of my book, their texture; slightly rough, and the sound they made as I rubbed them between my fingertips. I can remember my mum walking up the stairs and tip-toeing into my room with a row of chocolate on a small melamine plate. I can still hear her telling me “Rainy days are perfect for reading books and eating chocolate!”. I can remember the euphoria I felt sucking on each square of chocolate, one-by-one, whilst reading all about the Magic Faraway tree and hoping that neither the chocolate nor the book would ever come to an end. Recently, my brother found an Enid Blyton book 'The Wishing-Chair Again'; another firm favourite of mine. I found myself reminiscing and wondering what books my own children would grow up cherishing in the same way I cherished these books.
Part of the magic of books, is the legacy left behind. These legacies remain long after the author has left this world; their words etched into time with the ability to inspire and excite generations upon generations of readers to come. As a mother, I desperately want my children to experience the magic in reading books. As an author, I have the unique ability to ensure they do. By now you've likely seen some of the illustrations in my book 'Broccoli Trees? Yes Please!'. Whilst I am completely besotted with these illustrations, which so perfectly reflect the vision I have for my book, it was my deepest desire to ignite a little magic for my own children through my publication. You see, not only is my book dedicated to my children, but the characters in the book, and the illustrations were designed to be very meaningful to them. If you hadn't already guessed, the characters in the book are us. The little boy is my son Lachlan, and the adventure-inspiring monkey is 'Mr Murphy', his favourite little soft toy that his Aunty Jodie gave him for his first birthday. Mr Murphy has been on many adventures with our family over the years. He's been on every holiday, every hike, every tea party and every picnic. He's even journey'd from Australia to New Zealand and trekked around the countryside with us there (let us not talk about the time we lost him at the Brisbane International Airport!). At 9 years old, Lachlan still takes Mr Murphy to bed with him every night. Mr Murphy is special to Lachlan, and therefor he is special to all of us, and I hope that with the release of my book that he will become special to you and your family too.
I leave you with a parting message from the great Oprah Winfrey. “Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.”
Please leave me a comment and tell me which author or book has left a lasting impression on you and given you a pass to personal freedom.? Was it J.K Rowling? Mem Fox? Dr. Seuss? - there have been so many influential authors in our time, and I certainly hope that one day, my books are remembered for their ability to inspire a little bit of magic and imagination in a child's life. For to imagine is to dream, to dream is to create, and to create is to inspire.