Praise heaven – my daughter has finally reached the stage, aged four, where she’s happy to move onto proper bedtime stories, read over several nights. No more do I have to endure countless Mr Men aberrations on a nightly basis, and that alone is reason for glee. They’re a curious phenomenon, the Mr Men books, even of they’re intensely annoying. Nobody is more annoying than Mr Happy, who guest stars in numerous books as well as his own, putting right what once went wrong, often by being unrelentingly cheerful at people until they crumble. A bit of a conformist, he clearly will not rest until everybody is as frighteningly upbeat as he himself, like a big yellow cult leader. Even being called Mr Grumpy doesn’t help. You’d think Mr Grumpy’s excuse would be die-cast. Not so. Mr Happy stalks him, moves in with him, and harasses him until he cheers up. Me, I’d have gone for a restraining order of some sort.
Anyway, farewell scary Mr Happy, hello Roald Dahl. She has so far agreed on the enormousness of the crocodile, marvelled at George’s medicine, and questioned the intellectual capability of the Twits. Tonight, we began The Witches. There were some nerves on display, particularly with the opening revelations that witches are both real, and dressed just like normal people, but she didn’t want to stop where we did, and is looking forward to tomorrow.
I say again, praise heaven, praise be!
In other news, Beneath The Surface remains on pre-order. Go and see. Imagine the papery touch of stories in your hand, and the inky whisper of authors breathing into your mind. There are fourteen discoveries to be made beneath the surface, one of them of ‘Secrets (Never Told)’, and it won’t keep you waiting too long before sliding through your mailbox and offering them up to you…