ANOTHER “NIBBLE” FROM MEREDITH COSTAIN
by Dee White - August 11th, 2010
“It’s not always easy for Ned, being friends with someone as fearless as Rosie. But when Rosie is trapped in Witchy Nell’s cave, Ned has to find his own courage – fast!”
Rosie’s love of red things has led her to Witchy Nell’s cave. And when Rosie slips on a stone mound trying to climb out of the Creepy Cave, she injures her ankle and can’t walk. The cave is filling with water and her Ned must get help fast – but the closest house belongs to Witchy Nell. Ned has to summon the courage to call on Witchy Nell to save his friend.
Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave has all the elements to appeal to younger readers: humour, suspense, great characters and true friendship.
It’s full of clear descriptions and active verbs that bring tension to the story and move it along. I also loved the characterization and expressions in the delightful, illustrations by Tina Burke
Rosie and Ned and the Creepy Cave is the third Aussie Nibble from Meredith Costain starring the ‘red loving’ and adventurous Rosie. Written for 6-8 year-olds, it’s about kids solving their own problems and overcoming their fears
It is published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Books Australia.
What inspired you to write this book?
This is the third book in a series about two country kids called Rosie and Ned. I grew up on a farm and we always seemed to doing stuff: making billy carts, catching eels in the creek, rolling around the paddocks in rusty old water tanks. Outdoors kind of stuff where you got dirty and fell over and skinned your knees, rather than sitting inside on your bum playing video games.
I wanted to show kids there is life beyond the loungeroom. I also wanted the main instigator of all the action to be a girl. Rosie is brave and feisty and a risk-taker – even when it gets her into trouble. But her intentions are always good. In the first two books, Rosie’s friend Ned is a bit of a wuss. A follower rather than a leader. This book was a chance for him to step out from behind Rosie’s shadow and show that he could be brave and a risk-taker as well.
Developing the characters of Rosie and Ned across the series, and remembering bits and pieces from my own childhood, such as making billy carts, preparing food for community picnics, bushwalking at Mount Cannibal, being scared by imaginary noises and shapes – then finding ways to weave these things into the stories.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Keeping to the word limit. Aussie Nibbles are very short – only 1500 words maximum – and I tend to write very convoluted plots.
Teacher’s notes and a word activity based on the first two Rosie books are available from Meredith’s website: www.meredithcostain.com