Children's Laureate 2001-2003
Carnegie Medal 1989, 1992
Whitbread Award 1993, 1996
Guardian Fiction Award 1990
Mum and Dad are off on a trip, so Jamie has to stay with Granny for the night.
But he's never stayed away by himself before. His imagination runs wild! What are those strange noises, and silver lights?.
Anne says: "I still remember my first ever night away from home. I was terrified. Maybe because I have so many sisters, I was't used to trying to sleep alone in a strange place - my grandparents' guest room. The house was too quiet. The room smelt strange. The sheets felt different. Odd shadows lurked. Worst of all, weird slinky silver lights kept snaking silently up one wall, running across the ceiling, and down the other wall. How was I to have guessed that it was car lights shining through the wide bay window?
"I'd guess that, for most children now, it's far more likely to be excitement than fear that keeps them from sleep. But Jamie's the anxious sort, and clings to the mantra he's casually been offered by his dad: 'It could be worse.'
"Couldn't it just! His lovely granny could have been a witch and fed him worm stew. Those tiny voices might not have been from Granny's radio, but little people, hidden in the wall. As for those strange slinky, silver lights....
"I don't think the trick that Jamie uses to keep himself from fretting worked for me. But if I'd had the chance to read this book first, it might have been a very different matter."
It could be Worse, illustrated by Valentina Toro was published by Collins Big Cat on 11th September 2023.
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