A few years ago, somewhere between three and four, I think, I was sourcing answers (just one answer would do) to a question asked by the illustrator of a picture book text I’d written. Hm. No photos around at the time.
I searched many, many library books and online with no success. My local librarian watched me check out all these books, helped source more, witnessed my frustration.
Paintings, he said. What about paintings? He did some searching and found some paintings of the place and the time. Brilliant. It took a while, but we found good reference materials that allowed me to answer the illustrator’s question with some confidence.
Oh, said the librarian, one day. I found out something that might interest you. And he told me a story he’d encountered while visiting his wife’s family.
Interest me? You bet it did. And here, some years later, is the fiction that emerged from the nuggets of truth he offered me then.
Librarians. Love ’em. We need them now, more than ever, to help su navigate through the rubbish and red herrings to the gold that lies hidden. To help us learn more about how to learn.
‘Bird to Bird’, illustrated by the wonderful Wayne Harris will be published by Black Dog Books in March 2018.