While trying to conceptualise this book series this past year, C. has been kept in the loop about Squirky. He took an instant liking to Squirky when he saw David’s first sketch from my laptop (bobbed about and smiled), and instinctively pressed the star on Squirky’s tummy.
C. has been a lot more talkative these past few months so now, I get a better idea about what’s going through his head when I read out random Squirky snippets to him.
“Don’t like Squirky sad.”
“Squirky needs mummy.”
“Squirky is happy! Heeray!” (heeeray is his version of hooray)
Recently, I got a Squirky stuff toy specially made, thinking that it would make a good prop for storytelling sessions when Book #1 comes out. But before the book has even been launched, C. has appropriated the Squirky stuff toy as his best friend. He tells me:
“Squirky is not monster. Squirky is friend.”
“Squirky is going to have picnic with me.”
“I love Squirky!”
I’ve just realised that besides daddy and mummy, Squirky is the only other “person” he has declared a love for.
Like many writers, I often question whether spending so much time on books which don’t bring in the bacon (maybe a few cans of Spam) is really worth it. But to see C. really connect with a character I created specially for him…that means the world to me. And I hope that Squirky will always have a special place in his heart.