Suri’s Wall

When I first saw Suri

Do you know that moment just before you fall asleep, when images explode into colour under your heavy eyelids and a bolt of emotion shatters your tiredness and brings you back fully into the waking world?

Well that was where I first saw Suri, standing alone, peering over the top of her wall. I saw her from behind as she stood on tippie toes with her painfully skinny legs poking out from under her long skirt. Her fragile fingers gripped the edge of the top row of bricks and the morning light rested on her scruffy brown hair which was pushed back behind her ears.

I didn’t know then who she was or where she was but I knew Suri was different, very different. She was a young girl, scared and isolated in a world that seemed unusually void of softness. I knew Suri was lonely to her core but she was far from alone and that was when my heart broke and I first heard a handful of lines from the story which I jumped out of bed to scribble down.

“What can you see?”

“What can I see? Oh it’s beautiful, let me describe it to you.”

Of course these words have changed slightly as the story evolved and a lot more words have been added in around them, but their essence remains and I still have a hard time reading them out loud to my daughter.

What I am hoping to do with this website is to give you an idea of how Suri’s Wall grew from this initial idea to the fully fledged book that it is now. The process was long and so much ebbed and flowed along the way. It is the amalgamation of more than just me and Matt Ottley and without the whole team at Penguin it wouldn’t be the beautiful book that it is today.