• Wycoller Scarecrow

A Twist in the Tale


Tiny Mayhew asleep at his desk

Several things motivated me to write The Boy with Four Hats: my love of Dickens, the Dickensian Festival which takes place annually at Grassington and my neighbour's ten-year-old daughter, who is very able but who finds it difficult to write creatively.


I came up with a fairly simple model of the creative process and decided to make each aspect a hat! The Hat of Adventure encourages my central character, Tiny Mayhew, to observe the world; the Hat of Imagination enables him to identify with some of the people he sees; and the Hat of Thinking leads him to a contemplation of the complexities of life.


What of the Hat of Good Deeds? Charles Dickens, walking the streets of London, discovers Tiny Mayhew in a garret - where else?! Although the boy is unable to speak, he has recorded his experiences on a number of scrolls, each one wrapped up in one of the hats.


Dickens reads the scrolls in turn. When he comes to the final hat, however, much of the scroll is blank BUT at the top in bold letters he reads 'Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens' and he realises. He realises that it is for him to transform the boy's experiences into a novel which will make the nation ponder the lives of those who spend their days in poverty.


#nicoladennisart #johneames #childrensliterature #childrensbooks #childrenspoetry #childrensauthor #bookillustrator #newwriting

#boywithfourhats #dickens #olivertwist

#howtowriteastory #henrymayhew #poverty #victorianengland


All images and texts are subject to copyright 2018

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