February 5, 2013
A Giraffe in the Bath
Illustrated by Kerry Argent
I am neither a good mentor nor editor. I’m too much of a writer to take a back seat. So when an ex-student, Olivia Rawson, asked for some guidance in bringing a great idea to fruition I couldn’t advise, I just had to write with her. We had a ball together at her place or mine (she lives close by), combining our ideas and making a book together. Her original inspiration was asking her children at a low time in their lives what might make them laugh. Olivia said: ‘A giraffe in the bath? Does that make you laugh?’ Her children came up with other ideas on the same theme and over time, between us all, a book was born. We were thrilled when Kerry Argent agreed to do the illustrations. Her zany style was our first choice.
I’m not sure why I weakened and said yes to Olivia when she asked for help, unless it was in sympathy with her situation at the time. She was indeed a much loved ex-student, but there are hundred of others, none of who I have assisted, mainly because I’m such a hopeless assistant, and too busy, too bossy and too interfering. This was a once-off occasion. The outcome was fun!