Wisha hated bad books, but she hated one thing even more: good ones. Good books always left her feeling she could do better if she were to write a book of her own. She’d put down a good book, sighing, ‘Now that’s a book I could have written.’
So this is Wisha’s problem – she wants to write books, the kind of books she hates to read because they make her wish that she had written it. But she does not know how and where to begin. That is, until she meets Bookworm, who is, well, a bookworm. He becomes her mentor who guides her on the journey to becoming a writer.
Bookworm takes her on the Thought Express to the Marketplace of Ideas where she acquires an Imagination Balloon at the Grand Idea Auction. Her quest for a brave hero leads her to Bargain Bazaar where she meets Prufrock, a mouse who has the unfortunate tendency to turn purple when scared (which by the way, is very often). One of my favorite parts of the book is the sequence where Wisha meets the Scissors of Style to fashion a dress (a metaphor for Wisha’s style of writing) that is just right for her.
However, Wisha still needs that most important component of story writing – a Conflict and a Villain. Does Wisha manage to find her Villain? Does Prufrock shed her fears? Does Wisha finally fulfill her wish to become a writer?
Payal Kapadia, in this clever and funny book, explores the myriad dilemmas and obstacles that a would-be-author faces. This is a book that one closes with a contented sigh as different strands of the story weave together to neat and satisfying end. Replete with metaphors and symbolism, the book encourages individuality and integrity. It is a must-read book for children and adults alike and lends itself to in-depth discussion at different forums, be it a cozy tete a tete between parent and child or the more formal setting of a book club.
And finally a Warning: Wannabe writers will hate reading the book for they, like Wisha, will wish that they had written this really good book!
– Priya Bhasker