Zara is losing sleep with excitement about becoming 10 in just 2 months. It’s been a big year all round: what with a new little sister, Isobel, to get used to; a house (and school) move to contend with and her cousins Jack and Ella Grace emigrating to New Zealand.
Her parents, Sarah and Alex, decide to commission a special piece of writing for Zara, a way of celebrating all she loves and involving everyone who loves her most too.
We decide to go back to the beginning and tell Zara’s story so far in everyone else’s words: how Grandma and Grandpa felt when she first arrived…all the funny things her mum and dad remember happening as they learned how to be parents for the first time…her auntie’s memory of Zara’s first day at school…Ella and Jack’s favourite memories of days out together…and a message from Isobel too (with a bit of help from Alex and Sarah). It’s all there.
The final version is a combination of theme and narrative so that all the different accounts create one entertaining whole. Sarah and Alex then ask all contributors to send their favourite picture of Zara too, so that when they sign off on the final draft, they can illustrate it with so many memories from the last 10 years.
Zara is uncharacteristically speechless when she opens her little book for the first time on her 10th birthday. She can’t know this then, but she will never grow out of enjoying it.