Catriona Hoy is the author of many much loved picture books including My Granddad Marches on Anzac Day, George and Ghost and Puggle. Her latest book, Our Gags is her first venture into longer works and it’s published by Walker Books.
Catriona has kindly allowed her main character, Caitlyn to visit Kids’ Book Capers today and tell us what makes her grandma (her Gag) so special.
EVERY CHILDREN’S STORY HAS A MEMORABLE CHILD AT THE CENTRE OF IT
Caitlyn, you are the main character in ‘Our Gags,’ tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Well, I’m about four years old and we just have a new baby in our family. Mum used to have lots of time to play with me but now she’s really busy with that new baby. Luckily, we have Gags to save us.She’s my grandma.
Some days there is a lot of mess around….and smells. Who would think that something so small could smell so bad! Gags comes around to help mum with the house but really she comes to play with me. She is really good at playing games.
Why do you call your grandma ‘Gags,’ is it because she is funny?
She is funny but that’s not why I call her Gags. Mum says, when I was little, I used to say ‘ma ma’ for Mum and ‘da da’ for Dad and ‘ga ga’ for Grandma. So I kept calling her Gaga, even when I was quite big. Now I am really grown up though, I call her Gags for short.
Are all the stories in the book true?
Most of them, especially in the first story. Mum wrote that one first. Gags is really good at cleaning things and she doesn’t like mess. She finds things that are lost, she can make play doh and she loves dressing up too. Gags is also really good at the playground because she plays billy goats gruff on the wobbly bridge. Mum pushes the pram but Gags and me are very busy having fun.
Even the dog in the book is our dog, Leisha. She is a labrador and she loves to eat and eat. She came on holiday with us when we took Gags.
And my Dad really loves the smell when he walks in the door when Gags has been visiting. It smells like cleaning and cooking! Dad doesn’t mind vacuuming but he likes it better when Gags does it!
At first, you don’t seem to find the new baby very interesting, what do you think now?
She was really boring at first. She just slept and ate but it was a lot of work. But then, she got more interesting and I could help feed her and change her nappy. Sometimes I play with her too and can give her a cuddle. She can be part of our games and get eaten by wild teddies and things.
What’s your favourite part of the book.
Hmm, I like the part where Gags is playing that she is being sat on by an elephant and a man comes along and thinks she is having a heart attack.
What does Gags think about her story?
Gags is a bit proud that she is in a book. She made mum change some bits though. Mum was trying to make a good story, so she made Gags get stuck in a slide at the playground. Gags didn’t like that so Mum had to change it. That’s why she put the elephant book in. Mum hopes Gags knows she loves her when she reads the book.
Our whole family was at the book launch for our book and Gags was very happy!
(note: Caitlyn is now in year 8, her sister is in grade five and we still call grandma ‘Gags.’ We have a new labrador called Millie, who still likes to eat everything. Sadly, we have to do our own vaccuming now….but Gags still comes to visit.)
On Friday, we’ll be reviewing Our Gags here at Kids’ Book Capers.