I haven't written on here for quite a while, it's been quite a year and one none of us could have imagined. Covid has meant we've not been able to go into schools and run our workshops, but we did our first online one which was fun – so glad I had all of those lockdown quizzes under my belt for experience on Zoom!
I want to look back at some of the exciting things that have happened...
We have published two amazing books that support fantastic causes. Nurdle, written by Claire Vowell and illustrated by Jo Joof, is a story that raises awareness about nurdles, lentil-sized microplastics. When Claire approached Peahen and told me about the inspiration behind her story, I was a little ashamed to admit that I had never heard of nurdles. I grew up living in Newquay which has some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, but sadly I don't get to see the sea as much now I'm inland. I put the nurdle hunt to the test on a family holiday to Croyde and was so sad at how easy it was to find nurdles. They were literally everywhere! Some so small and pale that I can see how animals mistake them for fish eggs and food. So, Nurdle is the book you need to help raise awareness about reusing and recycling wherever you can. It's beautifully written in rhyming text and proceeds of sales Claire makes go to Surfers Against Sewage and The Marine Conservation Society.
The other book Peahen is very proud to publish is Elvis. It is a story raising awareness about homelessness, told in beautiful rhyming text by debut author Helen Brian with illustrations by Chantal Bourgonje. The message of the book is that 'it doesn't matter how big and strong you are, we all need a little help sometimes'. Children will love Elvis and watch a wonderful friendship evolve on the pages. Above all, this is a story of kindness and hope. All proceeds of sales go to the homelessness charities Julian House and St Mungo's.
The summer holidays got off to a flying start with a week of Peachick Workshops. We ran a two-day workshop at Hauser & Wirth in Bruton (amazing venue) celebrating the Busy, Busy World of Richard Scarry followed by a workshop at The Pound in Corsham. Masks were made, amazing characters created and new friendships formed. The aim of our workshops is to be creative and have fun. We have had a few repeat mini creatives which is a great testament – and keeps us on our toes with being imaginative!
More Peachick Workshops coming up in the autumn. Until then, enjoy the summer :)
Have you ever noticed a dirty, scruffy, old toy tied upon the front of a lorry or van which was travelling along your street? Did you ever wonder why that poor, old toy was outside in all winds and weathers rather than indoors waiting for a cuddle from a child in a nice, warm house? This is a story which just might answer those questions. A story about some of those old toys, how they came to be travellers and one of the adventures they had.
Dustcart Bart is going to be Peahen's first fully illustrated novel for young readers and we're very excited! With illustrations from Kate Davies – we're just a bit excited!
The peachicks returned to school today ready for their new challenges. At Peahen HQ we are getting ready with a new project – Peachick Books. We will be running some children's writing workshops and are busy preparing and buying prizes – don't need much persuasion to look at stationery!
We know, summer isn't quite over – yet – but we are excited about our upcoming title to be launched this winter, 'Meiko's Tale'. It's a story about one little boy's quest to find a friend. He leaves the safety of his igloo in search of adventure. With polar bears, swooping eagles and arctic hares, it's amazing what you can bump into, when you least expect it.
It's been a busy, booky time for Peahen and we love to be busy! We've been to some local schools to give assemblies about the world of Children's Publishing and the response has been fantastic! The children have asked some brilliant, intelligent questions after we've shown them the different stages involved in creating and publishing a children's book. It's been wonderful to hear how excited children still are with reading and storytelling. In answer to "What is publishing?" a little boy answered, "It's when an author brings their book to the people." He's quite right and Peahen takes pride in doing just that.
We have a new storybook underway with a rather fussy, hoity-toity, feathered friend. Watch this space!
We are very lucky to be working with a lovely family to bring their grandmother's stories to life. The Adventures of the Ladybird Family has been lovingly written, shared and enjoyed and will be in a cloth-bound, hardback edition very soon. The Peahen team gets a lot of job satisfaction working on stories like this.
Read in some magazine over Christmas (ok, we were too full up on mince pies and mulled wine to pay attention), in a poll of things you want to do but are too scared to – 45% of people dream to publish a book. If you're one of the 45% get in touch!
Peahen has been commissioned by Children's Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) to publish a story book about a young boy who needs a liver transplant. It is based on a family's true story. CLDF is a charity dedicated to taking action against the effects of childhood liver diseases.
Peahen is delighted to be publishing a memoir. Gladys tells the story of her parents' struggle during the Great Depression to then finding herself, along with her sister, living as evacuees in the countryside. The story has had us laughing and crying. Watch this space for the May launch.
Peahen is very excited to receive the advances of the Good Night, Sleep Tight children's book. It's the first board book Peahen has published and it looks lovely – even if we do say so ourselves!
Peahen has just been commissioned to work on a new board book. Very exciting!
Peahen Publishing has been commissioned to work on the second book in the A to Z series. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates: Fox, Hedgehog, Badger and Owl will be back!
"I would highly recommend Carly for the editing & anything to do with 'getting your book out there'. If it wasn't for Carly's help & advice, my two books would still be in my notepad under the coffee table. Carly has always been very efficient & courteous; I felt I could always contact her for advice."
Author of The Snood, a Really Cool Dude