Written in lively rhyming verse, this is a delightful and amusing story about a small boy and his mischievous purple pen. The boy’s teacher, a Police Inspector, and even the Queen, become embroiled in the naughty pen’s antics. What will the boy do about the trouble that his inky friend is causing him?
Targeted Age Group:: 3-7 years
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
I enjoy writing in rhyming verse for young children. I think it makes the words sound more appealing as they are read aloud, helps the flow of the story and teaches children that you can have fun with words. The difficultly I encounter is the limited pool of vocabulary that is available to you when your target audience is around 4-8 years old. It can be a challenge but then, where would the fun be if it wasn’t?!
The other limiting factor when writing for young children is that the scope of their experience is much narrower than an older reader. On the other hand, their minds are open to all sorts of possibilities, anthropomorphism and the existence of other extraordinary people and places.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
The more you write, the better you get.
If you would like to find out more about me and my books then please visit my website at www.whenham.com or my Facebook page www.facebook.com/RuthWhenhamBooks. I am always keen to hear from readers.
The big 40 was approaching and it was time to: take the plunge, make the leap, throw caution to the wind, follow one’s heart, do or die, prepare to fall flat on one’s face and most importantly, to stop thinking in idioms and begin. Okay, you get the point right? It was time to write. I knew that I had the ideas (loads of them) and I love to write in rhyme, so I began. One year later and I have published four children’s picture books. They are all fun-filled stories, combining mischief, great characters and interesting storylines. At least, that’s what I think (of course, why wouldn’t I?) I hope you will agree!
Here is a brief summary of my four titles to date:
My Crazy Purple Pen – about a crazy purple pen (funnily enough!) and a whole host of other fun characters who get caught up in the magic pen’s cheeky mischief.
The Day My Teacher Came to Tea – about a boy who’s mean teacher comes to tea, and the farce that ensues.
Birthday Cake Disaster – about a girl baking a cake with her dad, or at least trying to. It’s okay, the ending is a happy one, despite the title!
Captain Sillyvoice and his Pirate Band – about a gang of unusual but awesome pirates who find a way to have fun and become a swashbuckling success.
My first book, ‘My Crazy Purple Pen’ was inspired by a leaving gift from my work colleagues when I left the NHS; a very smart purple pen (surprisingly enough!) and writer’s notebook. I had taken the life-changing decision to leave the employ of the National Health Service to become a student again. The first time round I’d graduated in Human Psychology but this time I’d opted for Creative Writing. I have since completed this course and now enjoy dividing my time between writing new stories, marketing them (a necessary evil), volunteering at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, being a mum to my two children and chewing the ear off (just couldn’t resist another idiom!) my long-suffering husband about anything and everything to do with children’s publishing.
Just a few days after leaving work, I sat down, opened up my notebook and began. Strangely enough, I didn’t have a plot in mind at the outset but everything seemed to flow almost by itself and by the end I was satisfied that I had included all the elements required for a good read; a character children could empathise with, humour at the expense of authority figures (which in my experience kids love), suspense and a small moral message thrown into the mix.
I found an illustrator, Emma Hunt, who was able to bring the story to life in just the way I had envisioned. She has a unique style which I thinks fits perfectly with the fun and modern tone of the book.
I collaborated again with Emma on my next book, ‘The Day My Teacher Came to Tea’. I wanted to write a farce style story for children. Those stories in which one small mishap leads to another and another until the whole situation has spiralled out of control, have always appealed to me. I hope children will delight in seeing the boy’s rather stern teacher becoming increasingly messy and bedraggled as the story unfolds. I like to add in a ‘spot the …..’ aspect to my stories. In this case there is a cheeky spider to be found.
My third book, a tale about a girl baking a cake with her Dad for her Mum’s birthday tea, is my husband’s favourite. I think this is probably due to the fact that it includes a recipe for pink party cake!
The latest addition to the Ruth Whenham book collection is a pirate adventure featuring a new character, Captain Sillyoice, and his unusual crew. The story, Captain Sillyvoice and his Pirate Band, is the first in a series of three books to be released over the coming months. Forthcoming titles are Captain Sillyvoice Takes to the Stage and Captain Sillyvoice and the Sea Monster. Watch this space…
Emma K. L Hunt has once again created the vibrant and amusing illustrations to accompany this fun-filled swashbuckling adventure; in which a gang of pirates learn how to be themselves and become successful on the high seas.
I hope that you and your children enjoy my books.What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
When I left my role in the NHS to pursue my passion to write, some of my colleagues gave me a very smart purple pen as a leaving gift. It was the spark I needed to create my very first children’s book character.