We are very fond of Maggie Alderson here at Booktopia. We have created an author page for her, we badgered her for an interview, we follow her on twitter… In short, we dig her. Now, to our great delight, Maggie has written a book for children. We thought you might like to take a closer look…
Evangeline, the Wish Keeper’s Helper by Maggie Alderson
Evangeline the toy elephant lies under the bed all day, waiting and waiting for something to happen.
If only she could be useful somewhere…
Will her wish be granted?
One morning, when Evangeline was lying under the bed, as usual, wondering what to think about next, a broom suddenly appeared and swept her out onto the bedroom floor.
The next thing she knew she was thrown into a big black plastic bag with a jumble of other toys, books and old clothes. She lay there for a while, quite comfortable on what felt like a fluffy jumper, with her eyes open and her big elephant ears pricked to listen in case something else happened, but nothing did, so after a while Evangeline closed her eyes and zoned out.
It wasn’t hard for her to do that, because nothing happening was what she was used to. It had been different once, but for what seemed a very long time, Evangeline had been lying around on her own with no one to talk to and nothing to do.
So to pass the time in the plastic bag, which was getting rather hot and stuffy and had a funny smell, she did what she used to do on the long lonely afternoons she spent lying under the bed. She blocked out where she really was and imagined she was back at her first day, when she’d been taken from under the Christmas tree and unwrapped by a little girl with a happy smile and big brown eyes.
Evangeline could remember it all so clearly. The girl had hugged the toy elephant to her chest and then named her after her father’s favourite song, which happened to be playing at the time.
‘Evangeline, Evangeline,’ went the song, and the father had swept the little girl and the toy elephant up into his arms and waltzed them both round, singing along with the music. All the other people in the room had laughed and clapped.
After that exciting start, Evangeline had spent the afternoon sitting on a big armchair, with people stopping to admire her and pat her trunk and exclaim over her splendid ears. Every so often the little girl ran over to give her a cuddle and to pretend to feed her a chocolate. Later on, the Evangeline song had come on again and she’d been lifted up for another dance.
Then the little girl’s father had said it was time for bed and Evangeline had been taken. upstairs to a cosy room, with pink walls and curtains with pictures of cats on them.
The little girl had sat up in bed with Evangeline in her lap while the father read them a story about another elephant.
‘Look, Evangeline,’ the girl had said, pointing at the pictures. ‘His ears aren’t nearly as lovely as yours, and he’s the King.’
Then she’d hugged Evangeline tightly to her as she snuggled down to sleep.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, was published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.