authors, teachers' resources

“Lights out!” (The Book Chook)

Monster Maddie

Today’s visitor will be familiar to regular readers of Alphabet Soup. We’re pleased to welcome The Book Chook – a writer, editor and reviewer. She has a column in every issue of Alphabet Soup magazine with great writing tips for kids! Her picture book, Monster Maddie, was published in 2010. What did The Book Chook read after ‘lights out’ when she was growing up? She’s here to tell us today.

I love stories. Fiction books mostly, but I’ll take a story any way I can get it. When I was a child, Mum and Dad didn’t think reading was a good enough excuse to stay up past bed time. Parents are strange like that, aren’t they? If they saw the light on in my room, they would take my book away. So I would grab my torch and book, huddle under the bedclothes, and read my book like that.

The problem with this was oxygen. Or rather lack of oxygen. I would read for so long that pretty soon I’d used up all the air. So I’d surface for a while, take a few quick, quiet gasps, then go undercover again.

One night I had an idea. I took my brother’s snorkel into my bedroom, put the mouthpiece in my mouth, and stuck the other end above my bedcovers. It tasted rubbery and a little salty, but it was better than suffocating.

Undercover Readers cartoon © Susan Stephenson 2010
Image courtesy The Book Chook

This time, the problem was Mum finding the snorkel under my pillow next day. Do you think she believed me when I said I wanted to dream about being underwater?

Nowadays, when the lights are out, I have finished reading all I want. But if somebody said I couldn’t read, I know that would just make me want to read even more. I bet I could invent something ingenious – maybe a tiny headlamp for seeing, connected to a mini oxygen tank for breathing. I would read lots of great books undercover – ones that make me laugh, with characters I like who go on adventures or solve problems.

Alphabet Soup’s book review club is called UNDERCOVER READERS. You don’t have to read under the bedcovers to belong, but if you do and you run out of air, can I suggest a snorkel?

© 2010 The Book Chook

The Book Chook has a blog for parents and teachers featuring fantastic literacy resources and tips.

Alphabet Soup magazine is celebrating the launch of Undercover Readers (our new reviewers club for kids)!  If you’d like to join the Undercover Readers Club, you’ll find an information pack you can download from the Alphabet Soup website. As part of the celebrations, we have a different children’s author or illustrator visiting Soup Blog each day until 29 June 2010 to talk about what they used to read after ‘lights out’ when they were growing up. So be sure to check back tomorrow!

6 thoughts on ““Lights out!” (The Book Chook)”

  1. What I find wonderfully amazing is the ingenious attempts by children to solve a problem – when the motivation is strong. Your solution bubbles with creativity!!

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