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See p80 to submit your rhyming texts of up to 200 words, that tell a story to read aloud to a small childIf Oswald the Ostrich did not understandhe went and he buried his head in the sand. When asked an opinion – a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’? – Oswald always replied that he just didn’t know.When others were choosing ‘attack’ or ‘defence’, out of sight, he would always remain on the fence. When asked would he go or remain here behind? The Ostrich could never make up his mind.Would he like tea or coffee? Muffins or toast? He would leave the decision up to his host. Life is so difficult, so many choices;so much advice from so many voices.When Oswald the Ostrich did not understand he went and he buried his head in the sand.Just then, a wave which had strayed from the sea, rose up like a monster, so fierce and deadly,and washed over Oswald where he buried his head. Should he move? Should he stay?Too late! He was dead!Let this be a lesson should you hesitate – BEWARE of large waves before it’s too late!BEV CLARK is a drama facilitator, adjudicator and community theatre director, who also works part-time in her local theatreon Wirral. Plays she has written and produced have won awards at national drama festivals, and her drama The Black Eyes won the International One-Act Play for Young People 2015 (www. ‘Oswald’ is one of ten poems entitled Animal Crackers, which she hopes to publish as an illustrated set.she still has Pink Rabbit as a sidekick, and the same colour palettealways wanted to work as an artist but didn’t realise illustrating children’s books could be an actual career. Assoon as I found out, I enrolledon the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. The MA tutors take a stand at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair every year, where they display our work. The course has a good reputation, so there was a lot of interest from publishers. My book was I am a Witch’s Cat, a story written from the point of view of the cat. Three publishers offered for it and IRHYME STORYOSWALD'S CHOICEPICTURE THISeventually signed a deal with HarperCollins in the US for the original book plus a sequel, Happy Halloween, Witch’s Cat! with the same characters. I didn’t have an agent at that point; my tutors said I didn’t need one as I already had an offer. But in retrospectI wish I had, because the deal wasn’t really enough to live on. Later I signed with Jodie Hodges at United Agents and she got me lots of work, including illustrating the Glitterbelle (aka ‘The Sparkliest Princess Ever!’) series, which wasan original story plus spin-off activity books – a dress-up book, a doodle book, a secret diary...The idea for my Isadora Moon books emerged from an adult cartoon character – Victoria Stitch – that I developed during myfoundation degree, so she’s been with me in some form for over ten years (I’m 28 now). Publishers thought Victoria Stitch wasn’t ‘child friendly’ enough – too spiky and bolshie. But I’ve always been passionate about her, so I made her younger and less scary. She still has Pink Rabbit as a sidekick, though, and the same colour palette. I’m currently writing the sixth book in the series.The process is always the same. I come up with a concept and share it with the editor. Then I write the actual story over twoor three days – that’s the easiest part. The editor might tweak it a bit at that point, then it’s given to the designer to put on the page. She shapes the spaces I have to fill with my illustrations, and makes suggestions for the images. In theory I can come up with my own ideas, but usually I just do what she says! I suppose I’ll create a new series some day, but I’ll keep going with Isadora as long as I’m still having fun with her. ❐HARRIET MUNCASTER studied at Norwich University College of the Arts before her MA at Anglia Ruskin. She has written six Isadora Moon books and is also working on a new series to follow The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present, which came out last year.HARRIET IMUNCASTER44 Mar/Apr/May 2017 mslexia

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