light touch for dark subjects
Hughes’ touch is tender too. We see Granny sitting in a bed wearing an NHS hospital gown under her old green cardie. Amelia, the child protagonist, is there, comforting her grandmother via a memory book she’s made. So, the main character has learned something and applied it; a prescript in some Writing for Children texts.
So, what did I learn about picture book writing from The Forgettery?
Dementia is a subject I wrote about here, back in 2018. I’m addressing it in my picture book writing too, inspired by this remark from my dearly demented, now departed mother. If my NYP* pb, working title “Finding Nan’s Treasures”, should ever appear in print, please note it was in no way influenced by the above. Writers explore what's bothering them and discover there are a limited number of ways to develop a theme.
*Not yet published. Has a nice optimistic tone, don't you think?
'The Forgettery' by Rachel Ip, illustrated by Laura Hughes. Images used with permission.