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The Red Head diaries

International Children’s Book Day


We have only recently had World Book Day, a fantastic day of awareness to get people to read more and talk more about the books we love.

Today however, is International Children’s Book Day – it is inspired by Children’s author Hans Christian Anderson. If you didn’t know his tales, to name a few includes; The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling.

Today is about inspiring children to read, inspiring children’s authors to write; to find that love for reading from an early age.


Reading Memories

It was one of the few childhood memories I can remember; reading to my Dad and him reading to me. Visiting our local library, it used to be a stand-alone building full of books. The smell and the excitement of picking a new book to borrow always felt so magical.

I must admit we don’t visit the library as much as we should but we do buy books often, the children seem to love that too.


My Favourite Childhood Books

Some of the books I loved as a child were Treasure Island, The Hodgeheg, The Ugly Duckling and Alice in Wonderland. Alice is still one of my all-time favourites. There are so many characters, lots of adventure – so different.



It is such an important thing to learn from a young age. Reading can take you places, teach you things. Even if reading doesn’t teach you new things it can teach you more, from different angles. Books are magical.

They have a way of helping to heal, to give a form of therapy, to aid you to get lost in a world when your own life feels difficult. It certainly is one of the best gifts you could give a child.


My Children’s Favourite Books

I’ve four children, all love books in some form; we do our best to help our two year old fall in love with books too. Gruffalo has been a firm favourite for many, many years. The older two love the Harry Potter series; along with David Walliams collection of books too. We have done our best in trying to introduce some of the older authors like Ronald Dahl and Terry Pratchett. It’s important to also let them love the books which are also films, like Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid. Finding an imagination is wonderful.

international children's day


If you don’t already know, but I also love fiction writing and have a couple of books for a children’s series which are almost in their first draft form. The first two are set in local areas to where I live; one is history coming alive and another is a local attraction which brings more than the usual summery adventure. There are several more with the same characters, but these adventures waits a little longer.

I am nervous as always about these, my fiction I have shared already seemed to have been really popular; so I hope these will too.


International Children’s Book Day

Today, maybe introduce your child to a book they have never read or heard of. Have a day of reading, talk about the books you love. Get lost in adventure; celebrate this amazing author’s birthday. Discover something new, and old!

Flash Fiction – The Fall of Terra

I’d read it on the newsfeeds, watched the reports; I never thought it would come to this certainly not in my life time.

Reporters stuttering as they themselves didn’t believe what they were reading in front of them.  I remember being sat in History lessons learning of ancient myths of world wars ending humanity, but it carried on.  The fear of “The Millennium Bug” causing the world to stop turning, but again, humans lived to tell a funny tale.

Time and time there were rumours, where the next day it was laughed about and then forgotten only now, now there was a real fear. I could hear the screams piercing through my crystal made windows, little explosions lighting the streets outside. I still wasn’t sure if this was the real deal, as I said before I had read up on so many ‘threats’ in years gone by, all I could think of was we would wake up in the morning, a normal day.  I didn’t ever recall reading about explosions or real terror, just speculation; was it really like back then?

Was it all a bit of fun?

Or was it something just to keep us on our toes?

Well it most certainly was doing that.

Fearful and feeling lonely I stepped out; I couldn’t bear the sound of the intense screaming and shouting that was happening outside of my home. Opening the door I could see small fires spread almost evenly along the road, whatever was coming for us knew what it was doing. There were rumours of an Okarnagan resurgence; zombie plague fears, was it some kind of religious cult? Should I be praying for a place somewhere nice and sunny, I didn’t know.

I felt surprisingly calm, with the belief, “It’ll never happen to me”.

Walking down the street carelessly watching the fancy triangular hover-vehicles’ crash spontaneously into sides of buildings, some ricocheted off, others melting into the foundations leaving behind only red mist.  The smell stung my nose somewhat.  There seemed to be people everywhere, buildings half destroyed, this was real.  The sky began changing, looked like many different colours, vibrant greens, medium purples; a reflection somehow.

As I turned to look, a woman; a stranger took my hand and held it tight; I could feel her shaking through my scared clammy skin, could she see the future?  Did she know what was happening?  I opened my mouth to speak to her, but the noise that surrounded us was deafening.  The sky darkened, my heart which was beating dramatically not so long ago, seemed to calm itself within my frame, a false calm.

An eclipse was coming, I still felt in denial, this wasn’t real the woman stood next to me was in keeping with everyone else. Her eyes wide with fear, someone else’s hand grabbed my other hand a circle was formed, stillness surrounded us.

Darkness fell.

“It’ll never happen to me.”


Flash Fiction – Ruins

Walking through a red-bricked building, a building I recognised but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was. I knew where I was but I felt lost. As I walked around with my husband, it soon became apparent I was at the hospital. Corridors, there were doors everywhere. They still didn’t look completely recognisable.
We could hear a baby crying, it wasn’t a loud cry, all of the doors we tried were locked or had nothing behind them.
The cry remained at the same volume no matter which direction we stood, where we walked the crying followed.
We found an unlocked door leading to a room full of incubators.
The door behind us slammed shut, we tried the door but it had locked too. Leaving us trapped in the room.
The incubators were empty.

The cot cards all said her name, but there were nurses to each incubator, tending to an empty plastic box. It was confusing. Nurses looked at us, pity eyes. Heads were shaking. Yet nobody moved from their spot. Another door at the other side of the room was slightly open.
Heads down we made a run for it.
The door led to the outside, open air.
But it wasn’t what we were expecting.
As we turned to look at the building, it was a crumbling ruin. Nothing seemed in one piece, rubble replaced the corridors we had not long left behind.
The door we’d used was the only thing that remained standing.
Incubators smashed on the floor, cot cards were strewn from the wind.
There was no explosion, no earthquake.
This thing happened; nothing was the same as it was five minutes ago.

We tried to run, but the rubble was surrounded by metal fences, high with barbed wire circling the top.
The further we went the more fences appeared. It was never-ending.
The building seemed a distance away, the crying baby remained.
No matter how we tried there was no escaping.
We were stuck.
We fell to the floor, heavy with defeat, the night sky drew in.
Our eyes closed, simply because there was nothing else for them to do.

When we woke, the sky was grey but bright. The rubble and fences were still there, but the ruin looked somewhat beautiful.
Daffodils stood in front of the door, they’d also replaced the broken incubators.
Everything was the same but different too.
Escaping was still not an option.
I wake up.

Last week’s fiction if you missed it