Monthly mail • October 2021

Welcome to The Kidlit Collective – a celebration of children’s books and more

HaPpY HaLloWeEn

Helping you get into the spirit of things,
we share some ghoulishly good book
quotes. Mwahahahahaha!

READS

An excerpt from 'Don't Go Down There',

Hamish Montgomery
and the Cursed Claymore

The banging sound from the dungeon had already begun as it did every evening. But tonight it sounded even louder.

Putting his curling-cornered comic book to the side and looping a tin lantern around his arm, Hamish decided to go and investigate what was happening below.

The north side of the castle was the oldest part and had been built long before the rest. The dungeon, or cellar as the Laird preferred to call it, lay beyond the kitchen and scullery at the very end of the stone corridor, where the low ceiling meant his father was required to bend forward when passing through. As he approached, the bashing noise grew louder still. There seemed to be a pattern to it. Always, CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG! like it was Morse code or something.

Although Laird Montgomery was nowhere in sight, the floor hatch was folded open, revealing a big gaping hole.

It was exactly how it looked in his dream, where he ventured down and disappeared into the darkness, never to make it back out again.

Pushing the lamp inside, its glow lit up a small wooden ladder and the first four steps but no more than that. To get a better look, he decided he would climb down through the hatch but just to the top step and no further. Well, perhaps to the second, but only as far as that.

Hamish quietly lowered himself down with the lamp still in hand. The temperature immediately dropped, and he wished he had a thicker jumper on. The stairs below the ladder were very steep like his father had said and coiled round tightly. Hamish decided if he just went to, say, the fifth step past the first corner, he would be able to see more

CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG!
The sound got louder as he made his way a bit further into the dungeon. He had reached the fourth
step when Gorse began barking from above the floor hatch. Not a quiet bark either, a deep one, which
seemed to sound even louder in the cellar where it echoed off the walls. Perhaps it only felt louder
because he knew he shouldn’t be down there in the first place.

“Shhhhhh,” Hamish hissed upwards.
CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG!
“BARK, BARK, BARK!”
“SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG!
“BARK, BARK, BARK!”
Terrified his father would come and see what was going on, Hamish made his way back up. The stairs felt
even steeper on his return. His knees brushed his chest as he climbed each step while his heart thudded
so hard in his chest that he was sure the pounding could be heard outside his body.
When shadowy ribbons of fire began to flicker from above, he felt relief wash over him. The corridor’s
torches were now in sight, telling him he was nearing the top. Stretching up to grip the ladder, he felt a tap
on his shoulder, so soft that he wondered if it were even a hand.
Hamish jumped, spun round, and almost fell over.
A towering figure loomed over him.
His father.
Laird Montgomery stood completely still, a stony expression fixed to his features. In the illumination of the
lamplight, he looked like an old grey statue lit up at night. Meanwhile, the head torch strapped to his
forehead shot an interrogating beam into Hamish’s face.
“What did I tell you?” began the Laird, who seemed drained of all colour.
“But…”
CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG!
“I told you not come down 

“But I was…”
CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG!
“Promise me you won’t ever step foot down here again.”
“But…”
CREAK, CREAK, BANG, BANNNNG, BANG!
“PROMISE ME.”
Crossing his fingers behind his back, Hamish nodded his promise
and clawed back up through the hatch and into the castle
corridor. Gorse lay waiting on the dark
stone floor with his nose between his paws.
“Oh, so now you’re quiet!” he huffed as he pulled himself up on to his feet.
The deerhound offered a small whine of apology.
It was only as Hamish peered down into the blackness and
watched his father retreat round the corner and out of sight that
he began to wonder what terrible secret lay inside the dungeon.
Something Laird Montgomery surely did not want him to know
about.

Each month, we share some extremely 'likeable ' online illustrative work that caught our scrolling eye...

With her playful depiction of a witch’s cabinet, October’s talent is Vânia Sacramento, a freelance illustrator, designer and photographer living in Palmela, Portugal with her husband and young son.
“Illustrating brings me joy and peace, and offers me the opportunity to dream and become a child again,” she tells The Kidlit Collective. “Since I was a child I have liked to draw and paint.”
Vânia has studied various art forms. Attending a plastic artist’s studio for many years, she graduated in interior design, as well as studying fashion and textiles.
However, it was becoming a mother of a premature baby that delivered a personal reckoning.
“I realized how fleeting life is and how we need to hold on to what makes us happy. At that time I started painting again and in 2016 I started working in illustration as
a freelancer.”
Developing personalised wedding stationery, over time Vânia has created several editorial and business projects for luxury brands like Hermès, Inditex Group, Mrs Bell’s Brownies, and Work and Wonder.
But her dream job remains the same – illustrating children’s books

A Lisbon street illustration deveoped for a wedding stationary project

THE BOOK CLUB

Following on from Pig the Pug, Pig the Winner, Pig the
Elf, Pig the Star, Pig the Fibber, Pig the Stinker, Pig the
Tourist, and Pig the Slob, Pig the Monster
sees #1 New
York Times bestselling author-illustrator Aaron Blabey’s
pug celebrating Halloween.
Pig was a pug
and I’m sorry to say,
on Halloween night
he’d get carried away…

Pig, the world’s greediest pug, is on the rampage for
TREATS! TREATS! TREATS! But don’t even think about
being stingy with the goodies, because this candy-fueled
glutton has some terrible tricks up his sleeve…
Promising lots of fun, Pig the Monster is available here.

QUOTABLE QUOTES

WORDS BIG ENOUGH

TO CHANGE THE WORLD

“ I'M SO GLAD I LIVE IN A
WORLD WHERE THERE ARE
OCTOBERS .

L . M . M O N T G O M E R Y , A N N E O F G R E E N G A B L E S