Writer compiles darndest things kids say in new book
SINGAPORE: After writing two emotional books about cancer and a girl who survived horrific accidents, author Sally Collings needed a break, so she asked children for their advice.
The result is the hilarious, often poignant The World According to Kids: A Child’s Eye View of Life, Love and Chocolate cake, a collection of musings on life that ranges from the worst thing about being an adult to what happens when we die.
“I like the idea of a book that’s in the words of kids, words that are not filtered by parents,” Collings, who lives in Brisbane, Australia with her two daughters, told Reuters about the book that was published earlier this month.
“I thought it was a real heartwarmer, and it makes you laugh because it’s not just funny, it’s also so true.”
Collings’s previous offerings, Sophie’s Journey and Positive, have been heartwrenching as well as inspirational.
“I got to the end of those two books, and I thought I can’t go through that again. I needed pure joy,” Collings said. “I used to joke that I want to write a book about fluffy kittens, but couldn’t find an angle on fluffy kittens.”
For The World According to Kids, Collings started by asking all the people she knew who had kids to tell her their funniest comments, but quickly realised that coming from adult mouths, they weren’t very funny.
So she put together a questionnaire and went around several kindergartens and schools, asking children herself, and the book was collated from the wisdom of about 200 kids.
“The kids got a complete kick out of being asked about love, dinosaurs and what the sun is made of,” she said.
The book is full of gems such as the following advice from 15-year-old Naomi: “If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse”; six-year-old Alexa: “I need to put shorts on for playing with the boys because boys are very runny”; nine-yearold Armir: “You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk”; and eight-yearold Eileen: “Never try to baptise a cat”.
Asked why God made mothers, secondgraders’ answers ranged from “she’s the only one who knows where the sticky tape is” to “to help us out when we were getting born”.
Although the book is not really aimed at children, Collings said she was surprised at how much children loved it, because it ultimately empowers them. “I thought it would be just for mums or grans, but the young ones want to sleep with it and those aged 6 and over think everything makes perfect sense,” she said. – Reuters