Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Open Mic Wednesday - welcome to Storywraps

Hey everyone!  Welcome to Open Mic Wednesday here on Storywraps. Our guest blogger today is Natalie Finnigan.  

Natalie Finnigan was born in Suffolk, England, and re-discovered her love for writing rhymes after the birth of her son, Alex, in 2010. Having already published two short, rhyming picture books based on three characters (Alex, Dragon and Spider), Natalie is enjoying branching out into other picture books and is currently writing a pre-teen novel to be used as a teaching text for English as a Foreign Language.

Book Swapping

When one of the dreaded letters from my boy's school came home, my first thought was "Oh no, what do they want from me now?" Between homework, costumes for various events, school trips, school snack money reminders and various other correspondence, it often feels like I get a steady drip, drip, drip of things I should be sending/buying/organising/doing - and he's only in Reception Class! This time it was a request for books. The school was having a book swap day. "Please send in a book your child has really enjoyed reading and, for 50p, they'll be able to choose a book that someone else has brought in." Sounded like an okay idea, so in went the book and the 50p and I went to work wondering what on earth Alex would come home with and praying it wasn't something incredibly long and boring (to me) about big trucks or tractors or something I hated reading but he loves (it happens, I grit my teeth and read the books endlessly until he moves on or the book "disappears" from his bedtime reading pile - whoops!)

But luckily, he came home with Tyrannosaurus Drip - looked okay from the outside and (unusually) I didn't read who the author was before starting to read. Well, the rhyme flowed, the story bounced from page to page, the lines just tripped off my tongue from start to finish - one of those diamond books that feels right and a pleasure to read all the way through. Alex loves joining in with the hooting and the shouting "Up with hunting, up with war, up with bellyfuls of duckbill dinosaur!" as the Tyrannosaurus and his grim and grisly bride looked over the water to the shore the other side wishing that bridges had been invented. When the large (but slightly stupid) T's got an extra egg, they didn't notice and just thought their new child needed feeding up a bit. Never able to fit in, Tyrannosaurus Drip goes off exploring and discovering new things by himself - and a good job it was too! 

It was only tonight, when I sat down to write this blog, that I looked at the author's name and realised it was Julia Donaldson, which explains why it was so good (I may be a little bit of a fan of Julia's writing and when I say a little bit, I mean a big bit!) It was not a book I'd ever heard of before - and I thought I'd had most of what she'd written - so if it is new to you, it's well worth hunting down as I sign off hooting "Up with reading, up with rhyme, up with fantastic books for bedtime!"


Unwrapping some illustrations for you to enjoy...

I want to personally thank Natalie for being here and sharing with us today.  It's always fun when like-minded word spirits land here to play together.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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