In my creative space today I have a freshly printed stack of books. My first published children’s book!
I can hardly believe it’s here, actually in my hands! I am busily photographing it for my poor neglected folio.
‘Amelia Has Cancer‘ is a non-fiction children’s book designed to help parents and teachers explain cancer to newly diagnosed children. Alison came up with the idea when her little girl, Amelia, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer and Alison had to explain to her children what it was and what was going to happen. She soon realized that there really wasn’t a resource to help. Everything was too dry, too clinical and way too dull. They were books that simply wouldn’t hold a child’s attention.
So Alison, a mother of five and a science teacher, came up with one that would. A book that spoke directly to children informed by her families journey from diagnosis to recovery. She took her idea to Carolyn Dodds at Cure Our Kids, another incredibly inspiring woman, and the project was underway.
I found the beginning of the project hugely challenging, it’s a difficult subject to face let alone understand. It’s difficult not to get emotionally swept away. But I couldn’t think of a more worthwhile project to work on. And I think Alison’s straightforward voice next to the gentle images manages to strike the right note on a threatening subject.
I enjoyed the whole process, particularly having the opportunity to design the book in conjunction with the illustrations. And it was fantastic to be working with such driven, inspirational women. If my future holds more projects as satisfying as this one I will be one happy girl.