At the beginning of this year, with a three-year-old and six-month-old, I needed a good dose of guilt free art therapy, so it needed to be zero waste and all that good stuff. We needed to get presents for friends’ children’s birthday parties and thus, the concept of the Story Box was born.
I found The Worst Princess, cleverly written by Anna Kemp and cheekily illustrated by Sara Ogilvie. What a brilliant place to start. Let me set the scene…
Meet Princess Sue. She perches gloriously in her tower made from a leftover cardboard box and lined with scrap paper that I lovingly collect, looking across the rolling hills of split green peas. In the distance, the background of the scenes in the book which looked like the Scottish countryside are painted with a similar aesthetic on the walls (and bottom in case the child’s parent can’t be bothered dealing with the split green peas anymore).
Princess Sue, made from a wooden peg and clad in the gladdest of rags smiles confidently, her pink pipe cleaner arms stretch out as if to show off her guns. Little people, she is ready for action! Play on!
Oh wait, don’t forget the Prince! He’s not a bad guy, just confused about the rules of the game. Kids, you make up your own rules, ok. So, here we have our besparkled Prince. He’s rocking his oversized sword and pantaloons, a little something for the parents to giggle at. The frog he just defeated sits sullenly in the pond of up-cycled shiny blue fabric stuffed with rice.
Introducing our cheery steed, who Captain G, our three-year-old pirate king, insists is a cow. Nevertheless, he does not let his appearance get him down. He knows of his outstanding utilitarian pegs for legs. How easily they slot onto the side of the Story Box, and how easily Princess Sue or the Prince can ride him. It is simply unfair to him and his maker to cast such aspersions.
And finally, enter the dragon. Isn’t he magnificent? Although hilarious, his legs had to be swapped with larger pegs to equal the utilitarian prowess of the cheery steed.
So here they are, the first Story Box cast. May they have many adventures, squabble often and reconcile with cups of tea.