25 April 2009

Joe’s House

We had a very exciting proposal put to us the other day.  Amelia’s mum has been writing a book for children.  It is a book about children’s rights; specifically the right of all children to have somewhere safe to live with their family.   It is called Joe’s House.  This is what the front cover of the book will look like (the book has not yet been published).

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The book tells of Millie (that’s Amelia!) who lives at number 42 Bridge Street (which is where Amelia used to live in Portugal – although of course the street would have been rua da ponte in Portuguese).  It describes her journey to school each day, with her mum and her baby sister Lottie (yes, you’ve guessed it – Lottie is really Amelia’s sister).  Can you see Millie’s dad watering the plants on the balcony?

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Millie’s walk to school each day takes her past Mr Pastry’s cafe at number 36, Mr and Mrs Apple, the grocers, whose shop is at number 32 and Mrs Grey who lives at number 30. 

In the book (and yes, in real life too!) Millie has quite an imagination.  On Monday morning, for example, she was a rabbit, bouncing along the road to school.

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We hadn’t got all that far into the story (Millie the rabbit had just bounced past Mrs Grey from number 30) when we reached a rather odd-looking page.

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It had words, but no pictures.  Hmm!

As I said at the start of this post, the book hasn’t yet been published.  This is because it isn’t quite finished.  It has all the words it needs, but some of the pages don’t yet have their illustrations.

Lisa (that’s Amelia’s mum) explained to me that she was thinking about filling in the gaps in the story with pictures done by children.  Possibly even the children from Class 2i!

Well of course, we couldn’t let that proposal pass us by, now could we?

But first we would have to read the story again even more carefully.  The first ‘problem page’ we came to told how Millie (the rabbit) held mum’s hand as she bounced past the BIG dog from number 25. 


Well, you would, wouldn’t you.


On with the story, to the part where Millie the rabbit bounces past Joe, sitting as usual on his park bench.

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Joe is a little boy who has no home.  He ‘lives’ in the park.  Amelia told us that Joe really exists, although in real life he is a homeless man and not a little boy.

On Tuesday, Millie was a lion on her way to school. 

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As she passed Joe, Millie said, ‘I’ve been thinking – Joe could come and live with us, in our spare room.’

On Wednesday she was a mouse.  ‘What are you today?’ asked Joe. 

‘A mouse of course,’ squeaked Millie.

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On Thursday, Millie was a beautiful butterfly.


She fluttered past Mr Pastry, Mrs Apple, Mrs Grey…..


and the big dog…..


before spotting Joe. 


Friday was dress-up day at school.  Millie wore her snow princess outfit.


She wasn’t even afraid when she went past the BIG dog at number 25. 


After all, she had her magic wand with her!


‘What are you pretending to be today?’ Joe asked her. 

‘I’m not pretending.  I’m a real Princess,’ replied Millie.

‘Where’s your castle?’ laughed Joe.

‘I don’t live in a castle; I live at boring old number 42.’ she replied.

And so to the last page of the book.  Another blank one.  At the other end of the park Millie said to Mum, ‘I’ve had another thought. Maybe Joe doesn’t want a house. Maybe he wants a castle instead!’

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And maybe you could paint a picture that would fit those words.

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