|Acrylic on canvas. Detail of larger painting.|
One of my favourite books when I was little - you know the kind that captures your imagination so completely and makes you savour every little word in the story no matter how many times you read it - was Beverley Nichols' The Stream That Stood Still (part of a series, I believe). The stories have such a great combination of magic, sadness and a smacking portion of delicious wickedness. The story (as far as I remember it - it really was a very long time ago ...) was about a girl who's brother has been transformed into a fish (by a wicked witch, obviously!) and she has to save him. The part I particularly remember, is how she makes a magic mask that will allow her to breathe under water - being such a watery person myself, I so much wanted to find the ingredients for that mask, too!
The other detail I remember vividly (though not sure if it's from this particular story), is that there was a beetle named Beelzebub. I loved that beetle. I don't recall the storyline with this one but something in me makes me think of bravery and great kindness when I remember little Beelzebub.
Next time I'm in Sweden, I think I'll look it up at the local library. :)