Being both a Mum and a primary school teacher has highlighted to me the importance of not only teaching the traditional curriculum of Maths and English, but also to teach children qualities such as kindness, empathy, social skills, self-control, dealing with emotions and handling relationships with people.
Witnessing how some children really struggle with their emotions, I decided to write my series, called Sea School Stories, which aims to address some important life issues which children have to cope with.
Written in a fun rhyming style, the books are all based on young marine creatures who go to Sea School and experience issues which our youngsters might also come across.The stories create endless possibilities for discussion and they encourage children to think about how they would deal with a similar situation if it happened to them.
Moreover, I hope the stories take children on a magical underwater adventure. As I child, I used to love being taken to faraway places by turning the pages of a book, and I wanted to inspire children love reading from a young age.
The first book, Monty the Manatee, tells the tale of Monty’s first day at sea school and how he’s treated badly and bullied by some other sea pupils during his first day at sea school. But the pupils learn to not judge a book by its cover when Monty does something rather unexpected.
It is a heart-warming story about the importance of being kind, with a strong anti-bullying message, and encourages children to think about what it feels like to be picked on and called names. As a child, I was verbally bullied for a short time myself, so I know first-hand what it’s like to be picked on and called names. I think it’s so important that children are taught to be kind and to think about the consequences of their actions
My second book, Sully the Seahorse, is a gorgeous tale about a seahorse who longs to be fast like the whales and isn’t happy being who he is. But he takes a journey of self-discovery where he finds that all of us are special in our own unique way. The book explores the issue of self-esteem in a fun and heart-warming way and encourages children to celebrate differences and appreciate their own talents and qualities. It's sometimes hard for children to understand that they can't always be the best at everything.
As a parent, I know how tough it can be to explain to your devastated child why they came last in the race, or why they never win the writing contest. Sully discovers in the story that he's special in his own unique way - and that's the message for children too - just keep trying and be proud of who you are!
I have a third book coming out in the series later this year, called Daisy the Dolphin. The story is a sparkling tale about a dolphin who’s always getting into trouble because she makes bad choices. She shouts out in class, will not share with her friends and throws huge tantrums if anyone tries to tell her what to do. But when Daisy gets trapped in a mountain of plastic piled on the ocean floor, she needs to start listening – and fast! Will she make a good choice before it’s too late? The story encourages children to listen and make good choices – helping them to get the best out of life and to achieve their goals. Children often let their emotions get the better of them when making a choice. They can sometimes react in a negative way – expressing their frustration through tears, tantrums and extreme stubbornness. The book explores the importance of thinking about choices in a fun and heart-warming way and encourages children to STOP, THINK and CHOOSE.
There are lots of free teaching resources for the books on my website including English teaching units, resources for PSHE and even a Sea School Stories fun song and dance! You can also order signed copies of the books through my website – www.seaschoolstories.co.uk
Join my Facebook group called Sea School Stories for the latest updates and offers, including author visits and Skype sessions with pupils.
More about me ...
I live in the West Midlands with my husband, Adam, and our two boys, Jacob and Theo. Many years ago, I worked as a journalist for a local newspaper before retraining to become a primary school teacher.