Tag Archives: Kristina Stephenson

Fiction Fridays #18: Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure

FF#18
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure: Kristina Stephenson (2007)

“Once upon a time, there was a deep, dark forest, where monstrous trees groaned, terrible beasties moaned and wiggly woos waited to tickle your toes.”

Read more about Fiction Fridays here.
Like to take part? Read the rules and guidelines and get the badge here.

Photobucket
Extra Info:
This is a fantastic tradition-busting fairy tale with twists and turns all through the book. On page three we have: “And what was behind that little wooden door? Well, nobody knew, because nobody ever went there. THE END.”

Except THE END is crossed through, and the story continues: “At least… Not until the day when…” The book is full of lovely moments like this and the pictures and text are fully integrated telling the story with the text meandering around the pages when needed.

There are also flaps to lift, four giant ones that extend towers above the pages or give a huge panorama, I am a fan of this method of extending illustrations in picture books.

My favourite part of the book (although there are so many wonderful parts to choose from) is a double page spread that is mostly filled with text made of different font styles, weights and sizes. This is the completely hilarious denouement to the entire adventure and I would hate to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t read this book.

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks is a definite favourite in this household, and thoroughly recommended.

“And everyone cheered hooray, hooray, hooray, because that’s what people do at the end of a really big adventure.”

Opening Lines

I used to want to be an author. I used to read avidly, literally hundreds of books a year. And I wrote, and wrote. But this was way back in my teens and early 20’s, now I’m 36 it’s been 15 years since I wrote regularly and over 10 years since I wrote anything at all. But inspired by the Children’s Writer blog and behind-the-scenes writing comments from (too many to mention) picture book authors and illustrators on Twitter, I thought I might revisit a story that’s been in my head all that time and write it for my girls…

My aspirations to be an author have faded over time, and I don’t have the patience to really write at this stage in my life but I thought I could manage a short story just for my girls. I hoped to be able to pull the threads of my ideas together, put the words in some sort of order and sort out the ending so it worked. Ideas are easy, writing is the hard part!

With that in mind, I started to think of the opening sentence(s). Perhaps just writing the story down first would be the best idea, but it’s been in my head for so long I thought I’d start at the beginning. Fiction Fridays have taught me that the first sentence can really sell a book to the reader. The story is a non-traditional fairy tale, so I looked for inspiration:

“Once upon a time there lived a King and a Queen who weren’t very good at it.” The Tough Princess (Waddell & Benson)

“Once there was a Dragon who was convinced he was TOTALLY TERRIFYING.” The Totally Terrifying Three (Oram & Melling)

“Once upon a Tuesday the king was in a hurry as usual.” The Kiss That Missed (Melling)

“Once upon a time, there was a deep, dark forest, where monstrous trees groaned, terrible beasties moaned and wiggly woos waited to tickle your toes.” Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Really Big Adventure (Stephenson)

“The trouble with Dragons is… Dragons make Dragons and they make some more till there are wall-to-wall Dragons making Dragons galore.” The Trouble With Dragons (Gliori)

“Long, and long ago, when Oberon was king of the fairies, there reigned over the fair country of Phantasmorania a monarch who had six beautiful daughters.” The Ordinary Princess (Kaye)

The Ordinary Princess isn’t a picture book. It is however a perfect fairy tale. I think it’s the book I want to write. Except it was already written over 30 years ago! It definitely deserves its own post.

After looking at the inspiration, I thought about the opening lines for “my” story. Hmmm, maybe I’ll think about writing again in another ten years… 🙂