We are reading The Ickabog right now. In fact, we're all caught up as it's being published chapter by chapter. The kids were so frightened by the end of last week's installment that when I realized new chapters apparently aren't posted on the weekend and so began reading The Trumpet of the Swan to the children they begged me not to return to the The Ickabog. It was just too scary.
But we've gotten a few good drawings out of it. Zoë has been drawing monsters and nightmares for everyone in the family. Here are a couple she drew from me and Alexander. Alexander's picture is clearly a terrifying beast. My picture looks like a bucolic home scene...until you notice the venomous snake slithering in the grass.
She also drew this adorable monster for Rachel (along with a love note):
Let me enhance that image for you:
Adorably terrifying, right? Do not be surprised if this little guy finds his way into our Christmas card. I mean, just slap a "2020" sticker on him with the words "ME" in front of him and you're well on your way to making a viral meme. It's good stuff. You could even give him a little speech bubble and make him say, "ROUR," which I really see being the new RAWR.
And, amazingly, Zoë drew this character again for Benjamin. It is the Ickabog, you see. Here she has drawn (and halfway coloured) it and paraphrased her inspiration from the book, "I will eat you, but not yet." (In fact the quote is, "I'm going to eat you. But not yet.")
I would submit it (the character, not the half-coloured drawing, in particular) to the illustration contest, but Zoë isn't old enough to enter (you have to be seven). Oh, well. It's really a charming little monster, even if it's a little frightening.
Speaking of frightening, I found this paper while I was hunting for the picture of the Ickabog and my heart just sunk:
It says, "I am the worst sister ever. Rachel does not love me. I am not the best sister."
I don't even remember those two really having it out today (or recently)! And reading that just about broke my heart. But, reader, don't despair! If you keep reading it also says, "I am the best sister ever."
If you look carefully you can see that one is crossed out with an X and the other has a checkmark over it. So clearly (hopefully) this was a True/False quiz of sorts that Zoë had drafted for Rachel.
That's what I'll tell my heart so my heart can go to sleep tonight. And, really, it's not so hard to believe because I also found this little gem:
It says, "Zoë's Book?! Today I like Mom and Dad and Ben and Alex and I like and I love, love, love ME," so I think her self-esteem came out on top today. Phew.
This learning-to-write stage is one of my favourite stages. Like, you've witnessed your child learn to talk, but have you witnessed them learn how to write? It's...an adorable process.