This is the story of a girl who wished she was a writer. Her name was Wisha Wozzariter. She hated bad books, but there was something she hated even more: a good book. That’s because whenever she read a good book, she ended up feeling that she could have done a better job. She often put down a good book, sighing, “Now that’s a book I could have written.” This went on until one day, when she had turned 10, and she put down Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. She sighed again, wishing she had written the book, and just then, out came a bookworm and asked her “Why don’t you?”
And there begins this crazy and wonderfully charming story of, well, how to write a book!
Wisha Wozzariter is a roller-coaster ride, with talking bookworms and a purple mouse, egging Wisha to get on the Thought Express, blow up her Imagination Balloon and fill up her Bottle of Inspiration (half of which she owes Mr Frugal in the Bargain Bazaar, for having helped her find a hero—a girl hero).
There is a moral at the end of the story. If you wish you were a writer, don’t just sit around, simply wishing for it—start writing!
All of 75 pages, Wisha Wozzariter is quite a page-turner. Young readers will have enough to look forward to in the fun pace of this fantasy read, which is redolent with humanised characters of all that adds to make good writing—the Thought Express, Imagination Balloon, a Hero, a Villain of the piece, a good Conflict, the indomitable Writer’s Block, the play of Luck in a writer’s life and the one thing to hold it all together in a story, the Structure Glue. The liberally sprinkled Roger Dahl illustrations across the book simply add to all the fun. The adult reader, on the other hand, will find in the book a clever play of words, idioms and limericks, and a wittily taught lesson on how to become a writer, even as an overly critical English editor will return from the book rather satisfied with the care taken by the author to play around with words without breaking the rules of the language.
It is after a long time that we have come across an Indian author (courtesy the Penguin stables), who seems dedicated to the cause of writing a good book and not just raking in the bucks. One may compare Wisha Wozzariter to Alice In The Wonderland or even a Wizard Of Oz for its style of writing—pure fantasy. When I was done with the book, I found myself thinking it was a book I Wisha Hadritten! Here’s hoping Payal’s Imagination Balloon remains full.