Monday, April 22, 2024
HomeCultureBook Review: Whelp

Book Review: Whelp

The Sydney Story Factory is a place where children aged 7-16 are able to express exactly what they are best at – their creativity; and teachers, graduates, writers and lovers of the written word alike can come and give their time and skills for the betterment of young people. What could be better? I only wish that there were a story factory for adults.

On September 1 this year the Sydney Story Factory released an anthology of student work entitled Whelp. This delightful anthology showcases everything from stories, poems and songs to monologues and letters; topics as far-reaching as time travel to France in the 16th century; and mythical creatures like Poopy the dinosaur with one hundred heads and only one eye.

Invoking the awesomeness of an otter, but multiplied by the uniqueness and potential that is yet to be unleashed in the babies of the species, the title of the book does well to draw comparisons to the Factory’s young writers.

My favourite story in Whelp is “Untitled”, written by 15-year-old Fred Bekker about his brilliant imagination, the “concoction of a pixie, a goblin, a dragon and a deep-sea-water fish all mixed together”. Greater still than the joy of reading it for the first time was the realisation that I’d heard this story before, being one of the fortunate people in the audience that night when Mr Eggers invited Fred onstage to read his story aloud.

All of the works in Whelp are as unique and inspiring as “Untitled”, as I’m sure each of the children are themselves.



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