Writer com­piles darn­d­est things kids say in new book

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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

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