I am over the moon to announce that The Book of Silly Rhymes is a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards!
I was so surprised I didn’t even know that my book had been entered but last Sunday I received the short but sweet txt message from my publisher to tell me The Book of Silly Rhymes has made it to the final of the awards.
It is an amazing feeling to find out that the children’s rhyming book I put so much time and effort into has made it into the finals of this award and for me the best thing is knowing that all the initial judging was done by children and teachers.
Knowing that the children have read and enjoyed my book means the world to me after all they are the ones that I wrote my book for in the first place.
The Book of Silly Rhymes for those of you that don’t know is a rhyme book for children packed full of short silly rhymes for 6-11 year old’s some of which are a little bit rude. It is aimed to bring fun and laughter to reading time and get children especially those reluctant to read enjoying story time.
The whole book is printed in the open dyslexia font to help children and adults with dyslexia read the book more easily. I myself have dyslexia so I know the struggles children can have when faced with reading.
The winners will be announced on the 1st April 2020 so please do wish me luck.
We have had the opportunity to review R. J Furness new children’s picture book called Oscar the Orgo and what a delightful, imaginative rhyming story it is. ‘When Oscar the Orgo hatches from his egg, it isn’t long before he realises that he can sing. The problem is, once Oscar starts singing, his mum can’t make him stop!’
My girls love R. J Furness’s Orgo Creation and thought that Oscar was super cute, they also enjoyed reading how Oscar the Orgo loved to sing . My 7 year old now takes this book to bed with her every night and reads it over and over again.
The book is a lovely rhyming story that children can easily follow along too and has a happy ending. The illustrations by Fiona Fletcher are bold and bright adding to the wonder of the story.
I was privileged to be asked to be part of A Pirate Song blog tour and I got the chance to read and review Justin Davis’s delightful new book A Pirate Song.
A Pirate Song is a vibrant rhyming picture book for children that will really immerse them in the world of pirates. Throughout the book the words are written in true pirate style with a lot of ‘Are Ye’ and ‘Me hearties’, there is even a pirate song for the children to learn and join in with.
This is a great book for younger children especially those that love Pirates. My girls enjoyed reading the book and following the Pirates on their adventure across the stormy seas to look for buried treasure. The rhythm and flow of the book makes it easy for younger children to read and join in with.
The book has been beautifully illustrated by Stephanie Jayne who also illustrated my first children’s book ‘Pete The Cheeky Parakeet’. The pictures are bold and bright and really help bring the story to life.
This collection comes with 4 great books from ‘The Fabulous Diary of Persephone Pinchgut’ series by author Aleesah Darlison. The books include Musical Mayhem, Model Mania, Tropical Trouble and Birthday Bonanza, they are all written in the format of Persephone’s secret diary. These books are for young readers aged around 7-9 years old, they are in an easy to read format and are perfect for children to follow along with.
My girls have loved reading the these books and following Persephone’s diary and her most secret thoughts that she shares in it.
The books are all uplifting even when talking about her Dad not being around and her mother being a single mum it is still written in a positive way instead of showing sadness or anger. I also love the twin bond that the sisters have going on and how they are always there for one another and get through whatever is thrown at them together.
My girls loved the humour in the books and laughed along whilst we read them, there is also small black and white illustrations throughout the books by illustrator Serena Geddes, that also help bring out the humour in the stories.
These books remind me of the Dork Diary books in the way they are written and how they cover what happens in their daily lives in a funny way, however this series is aimed at a younger audience than the Dork Diaries books.
I wanted to write The Book of Silly Rhymes for all children including the ones that find reading a struggle. I wanted to put laughter back into reading time as to me reading should be fun and not seen as a chore. When you have a reluctant reader it can be hard to get them to sit down and read and also to stay focused to read a whole book.
This is where The Book of Silly Rhymes comes in!
The rhymes themselves have been written in a funny, silly and sometimes a little bit rude way to get children laughing and keep them engaged. The book is full of individual short rhymes so children who struggle with reading long stories can easily dip in and out of the book and choose what pages they want to read. Every rhyme has a fun illustration drawn by the very talented Louise Rarity to add to the laughter and fun of the book.
The book can be read in any order and having smaller snippets to read can help a child that finds it hard to concentrate and focus on bigger story books.
My publisher Blue Falcon Publishing also found a special font which they have used for the book. This font is specialised to help children with dyslexia read the words. Every character in this font is uniquely shaped to help eliminate the common reading errors of dyslexia. The capital letters and punctuation marks are bold to emphasize breaks and all the letters have clear spacing between them making them clearer to read.
When I was younger I struggled through school and disliked reading. No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get it right. It wasn’t until in later life when I was in college that I was diagnosed with dyslexia. Take a look at my post being a writer with dyslexia to find out more.
Although I didn’t like reading I do remember my favorite book when I was a young and it was a limerick book. Even though it was years ago when I had this book I can still to this day remember my favourite rhyme from it –
There once was a girl called flow,
Who wanted her knickers to show,
She wore a shirt,
As short as a skirt
And kept on bending down low’
This limerick has stuck with me my all my life and with ‘The Book of Silly Rhymes’ I wanted to give children who are struggling, the experience of reading that I had from that book. I hope for the children that struggle this can give them the hope in learning to love reading.
One of my favourite hobbies now is to read, I do it every evening before going to bed and I wouldn’t be where I am today without finding my love of reading. It is a very important skill to have and if children can find their love for reading at a young age it can improve their prospects for later life.
Spy Danger is about the adventures of the Baker family when they go for a weekend stay at Castle Arden. The Baker children Millie, Jamie, Zach and their Dog Harvey uncover a plot to steal the forgotten treasure that is hidden in the castle.They become real spy’s and have to decode the clues and try to outwit the thieves.
My girls enjoyed reading this book, it is a wonderful adventure story with drama and excitement. Although it is a follow on from Escape from Nettle Farm you could read this book on its own and still understand the story, however both books are a good read so it would be worth reading them as a series.
It is a great book for any children that love adventure, clues and spying. It is perfect for young readers and has detailed sketched drawings throughout the book to bring the story to life. It is a good length to keep them going for a while and it is easy to read and follow the story. My 7 year old was able to read the story herself.
What a lovely book for children to read. I read it with my 7 year old and 9 year old every night and they really enjoyed the book. They would get into bed and have the book ready for me to read and sit quietly engrossed in the story. Some nights my 7 year old did the reading and we listened to her.
Escape from Nettle farm by Justin Davis is about a puppy called Harvey who didn’t have the best start to life, he was living with his brothers and sisters at Nettle Farm with the grumpy old farmer Greaves. All his brothers and sisters found new homes leaving him behind. Until one day he manages to escape and finds himself a lovely family however that isn’t the last he sees of Farmer Greaves.
This book is a great size for young readers it has easy to read chapters and beautiful colourful illustrations by Claire Adele, throughout the book to bring the story to life. The story is written with lots of description giving children the sense of being in the story and helping them to learn descriptive words. The book has action and adventure to keep children entertained and is easy to follow along and get into.
After months and months of hard work I am so excited that my new children’s book ‘Pete the cheeky parakeet’ is now available to buy.
How it all started
I have always loved rhymes and the way they flow. Rhyming books are my favourite type of books to read to my girls.
I have written a couple of short rhymes in the past for my blog and on my social media for The Simple Mum and I received a good response from them so I started to think about writing longer rhymes. My children love reading so I decided that I was going to write a book for them.
I kept thinking up ideas and writing plots and characters but none of them seemed quite right. I always try to read myself before bed every night and I was reading a non-fiction book called ‘A parrot in the Pepper tree by Chris Steward’ and this book gave me the idea for Pete, that night I lied in bed plotting the story in my head.
At this point I was working full time, my partner worked away Monday to Friday and I had my 3 girls to look after on my own but I was determined to write this book. I had the story all planned in my head, I just needed to get it down on paper and work on rhyming the story together.
Every night, after I had put the children to bed I would sit there for hours on my laptop working away at writing my story. I worked endlessly to finish and perfect it and finally after lots of nights burning the midnight oil it was finally finished.
When I first read it to my children I did it off my phone with no pictures and I didn’t tell them that I had written it, just that I had found a new story to read to them.
They really enjoyed the story and were laughing away at the funny parts of the book and afterwards they were asking me why the book had no pictures, why it was on my phone and how did I get it?
You can never get anything past a child they ask so many questions.
After I came clean and explained that it was my story I had written they were really excited and started to ask if I was going to make it into a real book and if it was going to have pictures.
That got me thinking that maybe I could get my book published and fulfil a dream I have always had to be an author. I had no clue about publishing a book or even where to look. I also thought that you had to have the illustrations done first before any publisher would accept my work. I did sit down and start to draw some pictures for my characters but they were terrible, drawing is not something I am very good at.
So I turned to my old friend google to find out advice and where to start on getting a book published.
My Publishing Journey
I discovered that most publishers only accept books from a literary agent and you can’t just send them your book directly. Most of the agents I found had a 4-6 month wait time for them to get back to you and most of them said that if you are unsuccessful they wouldn’t even let you know.
I was feeling deflated but thought I would try to find a publisher that did accept unsolicited manuscripts.
I eventually did find a publisher on Google and sent my story off to them and they emailed me back to say that they would accept it and gave me a cost for illustrations and publishing.
At first they gave me a cost for illustrations which I did think was rather high especially as they wanted the payment upfront in one lump sum but I was still on cloud nine from receiving an acceptance email that I didn’t really think too much about it.
It was my partner (the voice of reason) that said to me that I need to find out more about the publisher and look at reviews on them first. I reluctantly did this and to my surprise on just one review site there were hundreds of negative comments about the publisher, then I looked through the books that they had published and tried to find them available to buy but struggled to find them even on amazon, so I decided that I would not go ahead with them and was back to square one.
I spent ages going through all the children’s books in bookshops and libraries writing down the publishers information and seeing if they accept direct submissions but I couldn’t find any. I did find a few literary agents that I sent my submission to but they all had a 4-6 month turnaround so I was just waiting.
At this point I was feeling really deflated and wasn’t sure I would ever get my story published. I was at the point of giving up.
Again I was reading a non-fiction book called Mumprenuor on fire 2 about 25 mums who have overcome struggles and hardships to become successful business owners. After I had finished reading this book it gave me an injection of inspiration and a kick up the bum to try again.
The book is written by ‘Mum’s in Business Association’ who have a very successful Facebook page full of helpful advice and tips so after I finished reading the book I headed straight there with my new motivation to see what I could learn and pick up about all things business.
Now call it coincidence or fate but one of the lovely members had just posted a video of an interview she had done with a new children’s book publisher who were looking for direct submissions. As soon as I had finished watching the video I sent them my submission straight away and they emailed back to accept my book and with very reasonable cost that I would pay for once each stage was completed.
I did of course still do a bit of research on them, as they were new I couldn’t find any reviews but I did look at all the books they had published so far and I found that I could easily find them available in online retailers. I also bought a copy of one of the books they had published to see what they could offer. After doing a bit of research on them I was happy to go ahead with their services.
This was the best decision I made, Blue Falcon Publishing have been amazing. They have guided me through the whole experience, explained every step of the process and have been on hand to answer any questions that I had. They also found me the amazingly talented Stephanie Jayne who produced the stunning illustrations that have brought the book to life. Their costs are very reasonable and as they charge in stages it is easy to see that you are getting value for money.
About the book
Pete the Cheeky Parakeet is a light-hearted, fun story, which carries a message for young readers about the importance of friendship and compassion. Children will delight in Pete’s mischievous antics, and will learn key lessons as they see the consequences of his bad behaviour. This cheeky parakeet will bring lots of laughter and learning to story time! Don’t miss out buy your copy now.
Why not take a look at my other children’s book reviews –