Phyllis and her Magic Book

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A children’s book.

During my time in college, one assignment we had that I had a lot of fun with was to create our own children’s books. I love children’s media; and I always loved rereading children’s books from my own childhood and reading through new ones whenever I have the chance. The opportunity to make my own was exciting.

With this book, my goal was to capture the pure curiosity that children seem to have. I remember being a kid and even if I didn’t have any toys or anything else to play with, I still managed to occupy myself with imagining magical and mysterious situations. Now, when I communicate with children, I love to listen to their stories to see how they view the world; sometimes they surprise me with their zany ideas. I love that a child’s imagination is infinite and captivating.

Phyllis is a young girl who always carries around her “magic book”, a diary she uses to collect items from all her adventures. To someone else, they may open the book and just see some rocks and sticks and other random items, perhaps deemed as garbage, and not think much else of it. To Phyllis, they mean much more. When she sees the items, she is reminded of all her stories she came up with. For example, this small twig is not a twig at all in Phyllis’ eyes: it’s a magical staff in a world where she is a warlock, leading adventures through the mountains and casting spells on the bad guys. All the items in her book have some sort of fun adventure to go along with it, from warlocks and wizards, to fairies, mermaids, unicorns… All sorts of worlds with magic and anything else Phyllis can think up.

As her mother, father, and older siblings are often busy with their work or studies, Phyllis usually ends up playing by herself. But she doesn’t mind; she knows her family will play with her when they have the time. When they don’t though, Phyllis spends her time in her home’s garden to collect more items for her adventure stories.

For Phyllis’ world, I was heavily inspired by Japanese fashion trend, Mori Girl Kei. Mori means forest in Japanese and since the themes of Mori Girl fashion are earthy tones, vintage prints, and loose clothing, I felt this reflected Phyllis’ personality well. The lifestyle of Mori Girl fits Phyllis as well: choosing to live one’s life on one’s own terms, stopping to appreciate the little things that others overlook amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. This suits her use of her book, as well as the way she interacts with the world around her.

At the end of this short story, Phyllis makes friends with a neighbour girl named Hana. Hana is quiet and a little shy, but curious as to what Phyllis is doing, she asks about the book. Phyllis happily explains what she uses the book for, and Hana runs home to start her own book. From now on, Phyllis’s adventures are no longer solo ventures; Hana and Phyllis will go on them together.

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