I’m often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” The answer, of course, is from childhood—my own and that of young friends. As an author, I’ve worked in schools in many countries, with many cultures, and I am convinced that the world of childhood does not change. There are superficial differences dictated by culture, era, fashion, but children everywhere have the same fears, the same desires, the same likes and dislikes.
Most people know the personal memories that produced my series featuring Mrs. Wishy-Washy, The Hungry Giant, and The Meanies. Here, I’d like to write a few words about the characters in some of the new books.
THE MISS DOLL SERIES: Miss Doll believes that she is in charge of the toy room. She can be caring, but sometimes she overdoes it and is dictatorial. Confession time! As the eldest of five children with parents who were often ill, I had responsibility at an early age. I would like to see this as a virtue, but I was also bossy, pompous, and at times, considered myself the source of all wisdom. I guess I’m not alone in this. Many families have a Miss Doll.
THE MINIBOY SERIES: The world is full of stories of big super-heroes, but what about a hero who is smaller than the smallest child in any classroom? A hero who has great adventures riding on the back of a timid mouse? Miniboy is for all children who need to know that small is strong, small is clever, small is powerful, and small is famous for being small.
THE AFTER-SCHOOL CLASSROOM SERIES: When I was young, I told my younger siblings stories, and some of these were about the way pencils, chalk, and crayons came to life when the teacher and children had left the classroom. In those days, New Zealand teachers had a leather strap for punishment, so it was the strap that kept the unruly crayons etc., in order. I reinvented the stories and now it is a computer that becomes a tittle-tattle, threatening to tell the teacher of the antics of the materials on his desk.
You may like to reflect on your own childhood and all the stories stored in your memory bank. Maybe, in the same way, you can clothe them in fiction and make your own series.
With love and gratitude,
To learn about Joy's books, including her Mrs. Wishy-Washy titles, click here to visit the website, or click the images below to download series information sheets!