Written by Jan Dekker, illustrated by Emily Dekker & Alice Dekker Inspired by The Witches
Once I was who I used to be.
Kind, modest, demure, delightful. Amenable, accommodating. Pleasant, patient. So nice. So lovely. But so put-upon, so pliable. Servile, supine, simpering. Diffident, deferential. Base, bowing, scraping, quaking, flaky and kow-towing.
So, a sip of special grunchelpotion and…fizz-bubble, scubbletrouble… I became who I am.
My old self crrracklepackered to a cinder, and my new self in its place. Strong, certain, in control. In ze drrriving seat. Ven I say ‘jump’, zey jump out of their miserable skinz.
Zat’s better. So, so much better. I rrreccomend it. In fact, I rrrequire it.
Written by Irene Lofthouse, illustrated by Leo Stanley Goy Inspired by Mary in Rhyming Stew
I was gobsmacked when a reporter appeared from “Where Are They NOW?” to interview mum about gardens. We lived eight floors up surrounded by concrete paths, parking bays, high rises and scraps of yellowing grass.
“Go away!” Mum shouted from the open balcony door.
I could see tears trickle down Mum’s face. I didn’t know why she was crying and went to hug her.
“You were famous! Our viewers want to…” the reporter’s loud voice floated up causing Mum to storm onto the balcony.
“Leave me alonnnnnne!” she cried, clambering on the balcony railings, sobbing and swaying.
Written by Gita Ralleigh, illustrated by Leela Delamere
Inspired by Danny, the Champion of the World
Danny’s father returned from the war, lost a wife and gained a child. Like his gypsy caravan, soft-lit in the darkness, he’s an adventurous soul who stays in one place: dispensing petrol, tinkering with engines and inventing go-karts, fire-balloons and big friendly giants for his son.
As night descends, he quietly leaves their caravan, alone. When the yellow moon rises and the owl makes its low, eerie hoot, he walks to the woods, each footfall taking him further away from Danny – and closer to his secret.
One night, he shares his secret with Danny, blue eyes squinkling.
Written by Gillian Colhoun, illustrated by Amalie & Bruno Caves
Inspired by Matilda
I’m no knight in shining armour
Not tall, not proud, not full of ardour.
I never asked to be that guy
The one they cheered to swillafy.
Never thought there’d come a day
I’d get my turn to make her pay.
I’m no hero in tights and cape
Not brave, not bold, not Iron Man shaped.
I never meant to scoff that cake,
The one The Trunchbull had Cook bake.
Never defied a grown-up before,
I’m so very easy to ignore.
I’m Bruce Bogtrotter
Round and plump.
A stammerer, a stutterer,
An invisible chump.