In a recent post, Nic Bottomley, founder of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, included The Day Louis Got Eaten by writer/illustrator John Fardell in his list of top-ten picture book recommendations.
So I borrowed Louis from the library, and then had the following e-mail exchange with the author (reprinted here with his permission).
Dear Mr. Fardell,
Since the day Mog the Cat tragically lost her toy bunny in the rain, my 4 y.o. daughter has resolutely refused to read any picture book with a hint of drama or danger.
Nonetheless, I borrowed ‘Louis’ from the library based on a friend’s recommendation. Daughter instantly spotted the hungry gulper on the cover and pushed the book away. But my 9 y.o. son was so intrigued that he gave it a go — and convinced her to let him read it to her.
I love your portrayal of sibling solidarity, and the resourcefulness of the characters. Their can-do attitude is a great antidote to my daughter’s anxiety about stories with bumps in the road.
I am hoping that this positive encounter with a silly-scary story will encourage 4 y.o. to broaden her horizons, in fiction and in life — and I will check out your books for older kids for her bro.
Kind regards, and thank for your wonderful book,
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to send such a lovely email. I’m so glad you and your children have been enjoying ‘Louis’, and that it’s been helping your daughter to find there can be enjoyment in dramatic and perilous narratives.
I do sympathise with her! I also had a low threshold for sadness in stories at her age, and for any scary stuff (and I’m much the same now!) Whereas if a story was funny, any amount of calamity or danger seemed fine.
That’s lovely that your son enjoys reading to his younger sister, and has been able to reassure her regarding content. Well done him!
And thanks for the link to your blog. Good luck with your own writing!
I’m working on another Louis and Sarah book at the moment, with further perils and challenges for both of them, so I had better get back to it.
All best wishes,
As an author, I’ve always treasured correspondence from readers who let me know they enjoyed my work — especially if they tell me why. As a reader, I love gaining an insight into people who create the books that change my world.
FYI -You can usually find an author’s contact details by Googling “[Author’s name] + email address”.
Click here for a YouTube clip of John Fardell reading The Day Louis Got Eaten, though the clip doesn’t do justice to the illustrations, which tell a story of their own.