This Friday I was delighted to be asked to read at the launch event for the first Cardiff Book Festival. A roomful of people in Cardiff Library sat very patiently while I droned on for ten minutes or so, giving a thrilling taster of what to expect on Saturday October 29 when I will take a session for the festival: more about the event at http://www.cardiffbookfestival.co.uk
I’ve been a successful children’s author for over 30 years, but Thimble Monkey Superstar, published on May 19th by Firefly Press, is a new departure for me. That’s because its main character, Jams, is based on my own son Jordi, who has cerebral palsy.
There are far too few books with for children which feature characters with disabilities: from fairy stories to Roald Dahl, physical difference is all too often associated with evil. I wanted to create a character who is just that, a character. Jams’ disability is part of who he is but he is not defined by it. He’s also warm, funny, creative and optimistic – rather like Jordi.
Right from the start, we have involved Bobath Wales in the promotion of the book. Bobath, an important provider of therapy for children with CP, are selling the book on their website and taking part of the proceeds.
I do want to emphasise that Thimble Monkey Superstar is not didactic in any way. It’s been a big hit with the children who’ve read it because it’s a fun, funny story. Hopefully it will lead to a series and many more children will get swept up in the adventures of Jams and Thimble.