Archive for February 25, 2010
Posted by: Phil McAndrew
Book: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (purchase on Amazon)
Claudia had planned her speech. “I want you, Jamie, for the greatest adventure in our lives.”
Jamie muttered, “Well, I wouldn’t mind if you’d pick on someone else.”
Claudia looked out the window and didn’t answer. Jamie said, “As long as you’ve got me here, tell me.”
My first illustration shows 11 year old Claudia Kincaid informing her younger brother, Jamie, that she has selected him to accompany her on a great adventure. She plans to run away from home and she wants him to come with her. At first Jamie isn’t terribly interested (Claudia pulled him away from his daily game of war with his pal Bruce to break this news to him), but after some convincing he agrees.
He sat up in his seat, unzipped his jacket, put one foot up on the seat, placed his hands over his bent knee and said out of the corner of his mouth, “O.K., Claude, when do we bust out of here? And How?”
Claudia stifled the urge to correct his grammar again. “On Wednesday. Here’s the plan. Listen carefully.”
Jamie squinted his eyes and said “Make it complicated, Claude. I like complications.”
This seemed like a perfect scene to start with. It paints a terrific picture of the relationship between Claudia and Jamie. Reading this scene, my growing excitement for Claudia’s grand scheme mirrors Jamie’s growing enthusiasm for the adventure to come. As Claudia is trying to sell the plan to Jamie, it’s almost as if she’s attempting to convince the reader: this is going to be good.