Guest post: Jonathan Emmett
October 8, 2013

Today we are rather excited at Living Paintings. This is because children’s author Jonathan Emmett has written a great guest blog for us about the inspiration behind his book ‘If We Had a Sailboat’. At Living Paintings we have a Touch to See tactile version of this book which is hugely popular with our younger library members. Read on to find out more about the original story from Jonathan himself!

LP space walk pirate web
I wrote If We Had a Sailboat back in 2002 when my own children were still small. It’s a simple story and was very quick to write, possibly because my five-year-old son and I (my daughter was only a one-year-old then) had been “workshopping” the idea for a couple of years. It’s about the sort of imaginative play that most pre-schoolers love to indulge in. The boat, train, and rocket that the children in the book create were all things that my son and I had improvised out of chairs, blankets, play-tents, sofa cushions and cardboard boxes. Together we’d looked for buried treasure, driven steam engines and landed on distant planets – without ever leaving the house!

LP space walk rocket
Although I was thinking of children playing inside with their parents when I wrote the story, Adrian Reynolds took the illustrations in a different, but very appealing direction by showing children playing outside with a very enthusiastic pet dog!

I’m sometimes asked if my stories have a message and most of the time they don’t. If We had a Sailboat is one of the few that does. It’s that while travelling to far flung places might make life more exotic and exciting, what makes life really satisfying is sharing our experiences – imaginary or otherwise – with our friends and loved ones.


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