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“Lights out!” (Chris Nixon)

We’re into our second week of authors and illustrators visiting — they’re here to celebrate the launch of the Undercover Readers Club. Today we have illustrator Chris Nixon stopping by to tell us what he used to read under the covers after ‘lights out’. Chris Nixon is a WA artist and illustrator. Books he has illustrated include Jake’s Gigantic List, Jake’s Monster Mess and Crocodile Cake. He’s currently working on even more Jake books!

Oh the places you’ll go!

"Chris Nixon self portrait"
Chris Nixon © 2010

My Dad used to tell my brother and I stories of him and his brothers growing up, only he’d slip our names in, which we loved — and couldn’t believe there were kids doing these wonderful things … and they had the same names as us! He would tell us about all kinds of adventures living on a farm and getting into all kinds of mischief, it’s one of my favourite memories growing up.  Afterwards he’d turn the lights out, but I always wanted more and couldn’t sleep after all that excitement so I’d bring out my little nightlight and look to books to keep the adventure alive. I loved reading Dr. Suess, in particular Green Eggs and Ham and Horton Hears a Who, and I always loved the other world it would take me to. I also loved Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and I still love it today, it never gets old. I always wanted to be Max joining in on the wild rumpus with the wild things howling at the moon. I’d tuck under the blanket and make a tent with my knees to try to hide the light (although Mum and Dad would have been able to see it through the blanket), I didn’t care because I felt like I was off on an adventure. Occasionally I would get caught and because my brother and I shared a bunk bed in a big room we would get separated as we were always getting each other involved.

After lights out now you could still find me reading Where the Wild Things Are or some of Shaun Tan’s books, admiring his great illustrations. However if I had to pick one book to read it would be Oh, The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Suess. I read this book every time I go travelling or if I’m down or any time really and it inspires me every single time. I love travel and adventure and I think of myself as a bit of explorer, I always have and always will, and the book really fires me up for more. I really like this bit:

So …

be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray

or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,

You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So …  get on your way!

Lights out …

© 2010 Chris Nixon

Check out Chris Nixon’s site and his blog for more information about him, and his books!

"undercover readers logo"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!

Author:

Rebecca Newman is a children's writer and poet, and the editor of the Australian children's literary blog, Alphabet Soup. rebeccanewman.net.au.

One thought on ““Lights out!” (Chris Nixon)

  1. Chris, we had those sorts of made-up stories too. I loved them and told them to my own son. I think story is the best background for any child.

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