It’s a place where factories exist in another dimension, there’s a bottomless river, a topless hill and a train tunnel to nowhere. The people who live there are equally unusual – witches, pirates, talking rats, invisible families and that’s just the beginning.
Words | Adam Cece
‘The Weird Will Inherit the Earth’—why there is always a place for the strange and unusual in children’s literature.
I’ll tell you a big secret: no one is normal. Everyone is weird. We’re all weird people walking around just trying to pretend we’re normal. Which is probably why kids like to read about weird things, and weird characters, who succeed despite their weirdnesses, and sometimes because of their weirdnesses. It reminds us that being weird is okay. In fact, I’ll tell you an even BIGGER secret: it isn’t a bad thing to be weird at all. It’s actually the weird things that make life interesting and wonderful and memorable, and the little weird things about people that make them interesting and wonderful and memorable, and make us fall in love with them.
Author Adam Cece’s favourite books of weirdness and nonsense:
The Witches by Roald Dahl—but really anything by Roald Dahl
Horseradish by Lemony Snicket—one of Lemony’s lesser known books, but in my opinion one of his best. Full of, as he calls them, ‘Bitter truths you can’t avoid’. It’s a journey through Lemony Snicket’s very strange, and very wonderful, mind
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Every Asterix and Tintin book ever written (I must have read every single one ten times!)
The Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 3: Planet of the Pies by Judi Barrett— I have always loved the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs picture book, which is very different from the animated film which came out many years later, and the town of Chew and swallow, where it rains food three meals a day, is a town I’ve always dreamed of living in. While the original book, and its sequel, are pretty weird, they are nothing compared to the third book in the series, in which astronauts land on Mars and discover it is raining pies, and the children and their grandpa have to travel to Mars to fix it. Every household should have all three Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs books.
Adam Cece lives in Adelaide. His first book, Wesley Booth Super Sleuth, was published in 2015. In 2017, Adam won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing for The Extremely Weird Thing that Happened in Huggabie Falls.