For her sixth birthday, two years ago, Mookie received a write-your-own-book kit in the shape of a castle, with stickers and gems, no less. I took a picture of the proud author for her to attach to the front, which she will be doing tomorrow because I’ve finally printed it out in the right size for the little tower window provided.
Here’s the complete text, with transcriptions.
Once upon a time in a little pretty castle there lived a pretty queen and a handsome king.
And also a very pretty fairy that they had rescued.
And she had a little bunny rabbit and she fed it every day.
But this day was special because I found a book.
And when I opened it everything turned green, and purple stars started to shoot out of the book.
When I opened my eyes I saw trees.
Apple trees, in fact, and they looked ripe to me.
So I picked one and ate it.
I saw the sun shining.
I saw wizards juggling stars. I saw jewels and valentines and flowers and butterflies and green grass.
I love this story so much. It moves effortlessly from the castle with its conventional queen and king, to a fairy and bunny rabbit, to the fairy’s own telling of the adventure of the magical book, to the things that happen when she enters into that book. I love the way Mookie supplements the stickers with her own drawing, such as the carrot she’s added to the bunny and the impressive beard on the king. I love the spiral in the sun. She takes her cues from the stickers and makes the story her own, such as when she bridges the tree sticker and the apple sticker with a drawing of an apple tree (“Apple trees, in fact, and they looked ripe to me” is a line that always makes me laugh out loud with sheer happiness). It’s also very cool to look at it two years later, enjoy her creative phonetic spellings (“oso” for “also” being a particular favorite of mine) and also be stunned at how quickly she has learned more orthodox spelling. Mookie still loves this book, showing a tolerance for her ignorant younger self that I found difficult to muster at her age–I was often a little embarrassed by my previous lack of knowledge, sometimes more than a little. Mookie’s way is much happier.
She still loves to write, filling blank books with multi-chapter tales. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.