After speaking to preschoolers about my newest book Playtime with Ye Ye for the past month, I had to switch gears to address the primary school cohort, and it was not easy.
I had to be careful not to offend the mature and sophisticated 12-year-olds with the singsong voice that I usually put on to read to nursery kids!
As part of the Visit, I had an activity where I partnered with a few children to write a bestseller. They looked sceptical when I said that we were crafting a bestseller. So, just for a lark (does anybody understand this saying anymore?), I have decided to post the beginnings of our story here. Mind you, we only had ten minutes to come out with this jewel.
The Battle between Dimples and Terrible Timmy
By Ngee Ann Primary School and Pauline Loh
The playground next to the haunted Kine Mansion was going to be famous in the news tomorrow. But nobody knew that yet.
Olivia, the neighbourhood’s beauty and best athlete, strolled into the playground to find her girlfriends clustered around something. She walked closer and saw them admiring Jinny Kine doing push-ups. She snorted.
“Get a life!” she ordered her friends.
“But his dimples are so super adorable,” they squealed.
She glared at Jinny. “I find him totally ordinary.”
Jinny stared. He could not believe his ears. This was because his dimples were magic. They have the power to mesmerise all girls. He did not know that Olivia possessed a power as well. Her power was to hate all boys, of any shape and size. So their powers cancelled out each other.
Suddenly, a foul wind blew through the playground.
“Urgh,” Olivia screwed up her face. She turned to face a small boy who had skipped into the playground. “Terrible Timmy! When was the last time you bathed?”
Terrible Timmy got his name because he was always thinking up new and dastardly terror acts. He never went anywhere without his super villain cape. His favourite thing to say was “I love terror!”
Terrible Timmy glowered. “When I get my hands on the Only Wand, you will all become my servants. And I will destroy the world through you.”
“Pooh!” Olivia said and jogged off with her friends.
Terrible Timmy believed that the Only Wand exists. It is a terrible weapon of mass destruction, fit for a super villain like himself. He was determined to find it. And he was convinced that, for such a horrific weapon to stay hidden through history, it must be protected by ghosts and spirits. He turned his eyes to the haunted mansion.
Terrible Timmy searched through all the empty rooms of the mansion. But Jinny Kine was there, blocking him at every turn. “You are trespassing,” Jinny warned.
Timmy picked up an ordinary branch from the floor and threw it at Jinny. There was a flash of light and a resounding crack. The very ground on which they stood quaked. The branch was the Only Wand! Timmy plunged towards it but, suddenly, he froze.
He watched helplessly as Jinny strolled towards the Wand and picked it up. Jinny opened a space portal and dropped the Wand through it. The Wand disappeared.
Timmy fell to the floor. He could move again. “What!.. How?…” he spluttered.
Jinny said calmly, “I have been sent through time to keep an eye on you, Terrible Timmy. Don’t think that you will be able to destroy the world, because I will be there to stop you.”
Timmy sprinted away from Kine Mansion and hid in the nearby Botanic Gardens. The Garden was full of branches that looked like the Only Wand. Terrible Timmy thought, “Where would be the best place to hide a Wand that looks like any old branch?”
He started searching again…
(To be continued)
Hmm, okay so maybe it’s not a bestseller, but I only have a few minutes. I have to get back to the book that I am woefully behind deadline on…