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News on 'Belonging Street'

This little poetry collection took some big steps in the last few weeks.... it was chosen as one of the Sunday Times' Poetry Books of the week, "It sings; so your heart will too," the Sunday Times. And it was selected for the Independent's Top Ten Kids Books list! "This effervescent volume brings poetry to life for a 21st century audience." The Independent.

It is a strange feeling to see a book take off. I am astonished and grateful.

For a few years (I am a slow-burn poet) I was responsible for pushing every word onto, or off, each page. Then it was my job to ink out light or shade in every illustration. No one picks up the pen if you don't. Of course, towards proofing-time and publication, there is a team, and the Otter Barry Books team all work amazingly hard. But still, it is wonderful, when you find that the tree you envisaged walking, has strolled out of your imagination into someone else's!

During lock-down - a chilling time for so many - I drew dozens of pictures of animals, the environment and of children; all the time trying to capture what 'belonging' might mean. And perhaps, influenced by lock-down, I felt, at the heart of such a search must lie kindness.... the sense of belonging and hope that is found in kindness and acceptance. And children do need hope - especially when dealing with things that can overwhelm.

Each time I see or hear of 'Belonging Street' in someone else's hands, I am aware of this kindness… positive reviews, generous feedback... I am Just So Glad of it. Thank you!

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