Have you ever thought about writing a children’s book? Diane Campbell Green did but what is unique about it is that it’s written about childhood memories that most of us Baby Boomers can relate to.
The Sparkling Adventures of Becky and Friends is an endearing set of vignettes that centers on the life of an 8-year-old child named Becky Ann Chalmers. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania during the 1960s when kids played outside rather than holed up in their room watching video games. As Boomers, we can all relate, right?
Her stories take us on neighborhood adventures from Becky’s perspective. They include typical childhood memories of going on a fishing trip, a dog show competition, Halloween trick or treating, climbing trees, and a broken Chatty Cathy doll. Her family is loving, and she has the idyllic childhood that many of us remember.
As an adventurous kid, she gets in trouble sometimes, like kids always do, but she learns life lessons along the way.
I enjoyed reading it because there was much, I could relate to. The illustrations by Linda Elizabeth Jones reminded me of books we read when we were young. Her drawings have an old-fashioned feel and I found myself lost in those carefree days of youth.
Diane Campbell Green comes from an academic background and has self-published three books. One is a historical fiction set in the Gilded Age and another is a Christmas-themed children’s book called Santa and the Cotton Tree. It also features Becky Chalmers and won a Dragonfly Award in 2020.
Is the book for children or for adults?
It’s hard to say. I know I enjoyed it because of its nostalgia but kids are so much more sophisticated today. And they aren’t running all over the woods and fields like we used to do when we were young. Those carefree days are gone and replaced with fear of strangers and abundant caution.
I imagine it depends on where you live. I live in an urban city like Los Angeles, and when my kids were young it was impossible to let them run all over town. But as a small child, I walked to school by myself, and we played outside until it got dark. It wasn’t less dangerous than it is now, but like riding in the trunk of a station wagon without seatbelts, we didn’t worry about it as much.
Although it is sad those days are over, it’s fun to remember them. I believe the kids of today would enjoy it too.