I’m delighted to have recently been appointed as a series editor by Jessica Kingsley Publishing. I’ll be working with authors and illustrators to develop a series of books and accompanying resources aimed at promoting positive mental health in children aged 4-11. I am completing this work as part of my role as director of the CYP and schools programme at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.
Each book will be a story book which is a pleasure to read in its own right but which also focuses on a specific theme which can be picked up and teased out through careful questioning by a supporting adult such as a parent, carer, teacher or therapist.
Each book should give the child-reader a safe means for exploring a specific topic through storytelling with fun and friendly characters who are experiencing similar issues to those the child might encounter.
A range of resources will be developed to support each book. These may include:
- Guidance notes for parents
- Guidance notes for teachers
Guidance notes for therapists
- Lesson plans and activities
- Story bag resources
- Online author discussion / Q&A
- Suggested follow up training to be delivered free via the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust
The series will be grown over time in response to need. Titles will aim to help children better understand and respond to the thoughts, feelings and experiences associated with a range of thoughts feelings and experiences associated with a range of issues.
Possible topics include:
- Worry and anxiety
- Loss and bereavement
- Family turmoil especially parental separation
- Transition and change e.g. between schools / moving house
- Making and breaking friends
- Body image and self-esteem
- BIG feelings and how to express them healthily
- The online world / social media
- Being different
- Terminal illness of a family member
Interested in pitching your idea?
If you have an idea, or you’ve already written a manuscript that you’d like to be considered in the series, please complete a book proposal form and submit it to Pooky at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07590 446791 to discuss.
If you are an illustrator looking to be matched with an author or vice versa, please let me know. I can sometimes assist with ‘match-making’ but will ultimately be looking for proposals which include provision for both word and image content as both are key with this age group.
What makes a good proposal for this series?
Proposals that are most likely to stand out to me are those which:
- Tell an engaging story that will capture the imagination of children
- Have considered carefully the use of words and images for maximum impact
- Are developed by someone with either personal or professional experience of the topic
- Have been road tested with and approved by children
- Come with suggestions for accompanying resources or teacher / parent / therapist guidance
- Fill a gap in the market or visits an important theme in a new way or for a new niche
- Will appeal to purchasers – parents and teachers – as well as kids
- Are written by people with a track record in publishing (inc self-publishing)
- Are written by people with a strong network who’ll be interested in the title