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Anne Booth lives in Kent and has always wanted to bea children’s writer, but on the way to becoming one has worked in many jobs. Anne lives in a lovely village with her husband and four children– and the children's grandfather across the road. They have two hens called Poppy and Anastasia and two dogs called Timmy and Ben. Anne loves tea and once won a Blue Peter badge for writing a poem about two mice in a bucket of rice. Despite this, she does not own any mice. Anne’s debut novel Girl with a White Dog was shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2021 | Children are experiencing sadness to a far greater degree than is usual but how can they best manage that and how can they describe it? Anne Booth’s gentle text explores how a little boy creates a shelter for his sadness giving it a place where it can take on the many different shapes and moods it may arrive in. Having a safe place where he can engage with the sadness helps the boy to deal with the wide range of moods it may release in him. It also helps him to prepare for a time when he and the sadness may no longer need a shelter but can step out together into a better world. Inspired by the words of Holocaust survivor Etty Hillesum, A Shelter for Sadness is rich in emotion all of which is beautifully realised in David Litchfield’s illustrations.
It’s hard to imagine a Christmas fairy prettier or more charming that little Clara, the chatterbox star of this story. Clara’s dream is to be a proper Christmas fairy on top of the tree, but at fairy school she just can’t help wriggling and giggling, to the despair of her teacher. That makes Clara feel quite downhearted, to the point of wishing she was someone else, until Santa himself arrives to ask Clara a very special favour. It’s a lovely story with a heart-warming and important message; the text is just right for reading aloud; and lots of little girls will recognise themselves in Rosalind Beardshaw’s button-nosed, curly-haired little mischief-maker Clara. ~ Andrea Reece The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “This book absolutely pulls on the heartstrings and is sure to be a magical read in the run-up to Christmas. And with its gentle message about being yourself, it’s a book you’ll be thinking about long after the festive season.”
This beautiful picture book captures the absolute essence of Christmas, retelling the story of the Nativity through the eyes of the donkey, and presenting the Holy Family as refugees relying on the kindness of strangers for food and shelter. The text is gentle and reassuring for the youngest reader, and the illustrations, black and grey wash lit up by bold splashes of yellow, show the family as real people in a difficult and frightening situation. The final spread offers hope, and depicts the family gathered round a table with friends in Egypt, having found shelter. £1 from every sale will go to the charity War Child UK. ~ Andrea Reece Kate at Nosy Crow says: “I was watching the ongoing refugee crisis on the news a few weeks ago and desperately wanted to do something to help. Then Anne sent in her beautiful text. We read it, we cried and we knew we had found what we could do. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone who is giving their time and skills for free to help us publish this beautiful book, to do what we can to help.”
There are apparently 700,000 young carers in the UK and this sensitively-told, compassionate story puts them in the spotlight. Anna tries hard at school and at home, where things are not easy. Though it’s not directly said, her mother is suffering post-natal depression after the birth of her little brother, who arrived very prematurely. Dad is abroad with work. Anna confides in Timmy her dog, a narrative device that means the reader knows exactly what’s happening and how much Anna is struggling with things, but without any overbearing sense of earnestness. A sub-plot about a school talent show helps keep the tone light and there’s an upbeat ending. This is both engaging and thought-provoking. ~ Andrea Reece Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, says: ‘Dog Ears provides an important opportunity to raise awareness of the situation young carers up and down the country find themselves in. We hope that young carers themselves who read the book will recognise that they are not alone and that support exists. Being a young carer can have a major emotional impact on somebody’s life. Readers who need support can visit our youngcarer.com website – so we can help them find their local young carer services.’
Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Best Fiction for 5-12's Award 2015 - Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Book Award 2015 A thoughtful and emotionally charged story in which different generations are linked by their common cause of dealing with bullies and hatred. Jessie’s life has been full of changes. She has found it hard to adjust but the one constant has been her Gran. But Gran is getting increasingly confused and suddenly everything in Jessie’s life seems to fall apart. There are bullies in the village, her own cousin seems to have turned against her and she keeps falling out with her very best friend. And there’s Gran’s new dog Snowy to look after and then Gran to visit in hospital. Helping piece together the story of Gran’s childhood while also doing a project on Nazi Germany helps Jessie to be brave and to understand that sometimes people do bad things when under pressure. A Piece of Passion from Catnip Commissioning Editor Liz Bankes ‘Jessie’s voice is entirely authentic as a child on the cusp of realising how the world works. Anne’s passion for her characters and the themes that inspired her to write this book bubbles fiercely under the surface of a beautifully told story - one with the power to move me, and the sales team, to tears. This book will change hearts and minds’.