Friday, 13 July 2018


Obvious Photoshopped image of Sean Alexander
Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Boys Don’t Cry, is written by Sean Alexander from Holyhead, north Wales.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says: “Sean has written a touching and heartfelt short story. His take on the Brig was unique amongst the entries. His story is set at Brendon School where the Brig has to uncover the truth about an awful tragedy.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart series of books, agrees: “Boy’s Don’t Cry is a wonderful little tale of life in Brendon, and we picked it because it showed a great understanding of the Brigadier, as well as the author displaying a knack for writing great prose. Add to that, the setting is one we’ve wanted to further explore in the main range, so as part of the winning prize, I’ll be working with Sean Alexander on developing another tale of Brendon School which will serve as a back-door pilot for a possible new range of novellas.”

Sean Alexander says: "In true Doctor Who producer style, I'm surprised and delighted to be chosen as the winner of Candy Jar's short story competition! Opportunities like this are few and far between, so my heartfelt thanks to Shaun and Andy for selecting me. I look forward to our collaboration on a brand new Lethbridge-Stewart novella later in the year. Splendid fellows, both of them!"

The book also features eight other exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like they’ve never seen him before!

The eight stories are:
The Stranger Paradox by Thomas Firth
Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
Burning Daylight by Paul Chase
The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball

The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Jonathan Macho and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

All royalties from each book will be donated the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Shaun, who received chemotherapy treatment at the centre, says: “In 2015 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, just as we were launching the first Lethbridge-Stewart series. As you can imagine, undergoing six months of treatment was physically and emotionally draining. If it wasn’t for the support of the centre I wouldn’t have got through this difficult time. This is my way of giving something back.”

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


Candy Jar is delighted to announce a new addition to their team. Keren Williams joins the company in a newly created role: Children’s Digital Assistant.

In this capacity, Keren will be combining editorial, marketing and administrative responsibilities in relation to Candy Jar’s ever-expanding roster of children’s literature, as well as assisting in the expansion of the company’s self-publishing imprint, Jelly Bean. She brings to the role a lifelong passion for children’s literature, with her two favourite children’s novels being J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Candy Jar’s head of publishing, Shaun Russell, explains about Keren’s new position:

‘Keren joined us for a work experience placement while completing her master’s degree. We were struck by her energy and enthusiasm, as well as her insightful comments, particularly in regards to one our new children’s titles, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns. For those who don’t know, this is a children’s spin off of our Lethbridge-Stewart range, and not only did Keren improve the book editorially, but tasked with marketing it, she managed to introduce the book to a swathe of new reviewers and readers. That was when we realized she had the insight, practicality and creativity we needed to push our children’s range to new levels.’

With a range of recently and soon-to-be released children’s titles, including Lost in Christmas (by Hollywood institution Michael Sloan) and The Bonkers Book of Jobs (an irreverent look at the weird and wacky world of work), Keren is sure to have her hands full right away. But it is a challenge she is relishing:

‘The best thing about indie publishing is you get to pitch in on all sides of things – everyday is a new challenge, which keeps things interesting. Candy Jar, I mean we have got a lot of fun stuff in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to get stuck in.’

Candy Jar Books is an award-winning independent publisher based in Cardiff, south Wales. It’s partner imprint, Jelly Bean Self-Publishing, is a quickly expanding player in the booming UK self-publishing market.

Monday, 18 June 2018



Newcastle-based author, Mark Carton, has written a book to address the lower levels of literacy amongst young people. The Book Spy tells the remarkable story of the greatest spy network of all time, The Children’s Reading Intelligence Agency – a fictional organisation created to protect stories from all around the world.

Former Radio 1 Roadshow events manager, Mark, has invented an authentic back-story to encourage children, especially boys, to reach for a book. From the early 1940s at Bletchley Park to modern day south Wales, The Book Spy highlights the crucial work done by CRIA operatives. This is not MI5 or the CIA, but a network of children discovering important books from around the globe, and bringing them back to the United Kingdom. The book reveals how Book Spies helped to defeat the Nazis during World War II, saved an endangered species, and foiled an evil genius’ secret plot.
Mark says: “I wanted to create something that would fuel the imaginations of children and encourage them to read by introducing the prospect of becoming a real-life Book Spy.”
The Book Spy, which has been shortlisted in the People’s Book Prize, proudly teaches children about the most powerful weapons in life, books. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, says: “Mark has written a variety of stories for us at Candy Jar Books, including a Doctor Who spin-off story Lethbridge-Stewart: 48 Crash. We truly believe that his Book Spy concept, which encourages children to read, has the potential to be used by every school in the country.”

According to information provided by The Reading Agency analysis shows that in England 16 to 24 year olds have lower levels of literacy than young people in 21 out of 24 countries in the OECD. Literacy levels are higher in Japan, Estonia, Czech Republic and the USA.
Research also shows that reading for pleasure can reduce the symptoms of depression, build empathy and help us build relationships with others. Mark continues: “I feel that reading can also create a shared comradeship and our website has been designed to reflect this.”
Unlike other children’s book review websites The Book Spy actively encourages children to write (or record) their own reviews, upload them and share with their peers.
The Book Spy is published by Candy Jar Books, and priced at £6.99, it is available from, Amazon and all good retailers.#


Careers advice. We’ve all had it (if our schools were obeying the law, anyway) and it’s probably fair to say that for many of us it was a waste of time. Whether it’s the crossing off of nine tenths of our ambitions; the oh-so-encouraging ‘I’m not sure this is for you’; or the one-size-fits-all ‘have you considered teaching?’ almost everyone has their own story of the shoddy guidance we received for one of the most important decisions we ever have to make.

The work we decide to pursue influences pretty much every other aspect of our lives: where we live, the people we meet, our daily routine.  If we’re lucky enough to find our vocation, our job might even become our single most defining feature. And yet we make most of the decisions that influence our future careers at ages when we’ve barely begun to understand who we are. The things we value at sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one generally appear frivolous when we are faced with the reality of mortgage repayments, school catchment areas, and commuting distances.

It is perhaps this question – who am I? – that a child should most ponder when considering their future career. Once we know who we are, we can better consider who we would like to be. Taking this approach, careers guidance is participatory and individual, leading the young subject to a deeper understanding of their priorities – what they want from work, rather than what work will want from them.

These are the findings of Mark Wilkinson and John Ambrose, both of them renowned academics in the field of careers education and guidance. And having dedicated their professional lives to improving the provision of careers advice in the UK, they have now decided to take the question directly to children, with their debut book, The Bonkers Book of Jobs.

The book is aimed at children at Key Stage 2 and 3 – the stages where the provision of careers advice provision becomes a legal necessity for any school. Its premise is simple: thirty six different careers are detailed, with information of the general responsibilities, salary, levels of demand and entry requirements. The careers are split into six categories: weird, scary, cool, disgusting, delicious and stupid (it should be noted that, for Mark and John, strongly influenced by the irreverent style of the classic Horrible Histories series, stupid is very much a compliment). At the end of each job’s section, there is a brief quiz on the reader’s thoughts; these lead to a further interactive quiz at the end of each category; and at the end of the book is the final quiz, which draws on all the reader’s previous answers in order to provide them with a personal psychometric profile.

This profile is then tied back to the various paths identified earlier in the book, and their particular suitability depending on the reader’s own personality. But rather than dictating certain paths, Mark and John are careful to avoid prescriptivism; instead, the reader is encouraged to consider a job in relation to how they think and feel.

As Mark explains: ‘There’s reams and reams of research out there demonstrating that a child learns much better if they are enthused and engaged. The same is true for careers advice. Because, ultimately, a career is a choice. And if we are engaged with our decision-making processes, then ultimately we make more considered – better – choices. At the same time, what you never want to do – whether in education or careers guidance – is intimidate a child. Ultimately, a child knows that at, say, fourteen, they don’t have to make a career choice right now, and if you try to pressure them into it, they’ll simply disengage altogether. But if you say to a child, well, you like sport, you like the outdoors, you’re an extrovert, did you know you can, say, travel the world teaching golf? Or become a walking guide, and be out in all these picturesque places all day? Suddenly you’ll find them taking an interest. Because you’re tacking an interest in them, in what they like, in what they want.’

Like the Horrible Histories series, the book maintains this sense of fun through lively, jokey writing, and zany illustrations throughout. It revels in the unexpected, bizarre, even the icky elements of the job it describes. With a new strategy for schools’ career guidance provision coming into effect in 2013, school are now required to provide access to ‘useful information about career paths and the labour market to inform their own decisions’. The Bonkers Book of Jobs has been reviewed as fulfilling these requirements, but it is unlikely that many other classroom resources will feature such detail on the day to day of ‘portable toilet service deliver’; but perhaps they should, considering that, as the book explains, this particular industry has sixty years of unbroken growth.

It is this combination of fact and frivolity which makes The Bonkers Book of Jobs so effective. By engaging with its young readers, by entertaining them, most of all, by listening to them, it will serve as not only an indispensible aide to parents and beleaguered careers advisors everywhere, but a go to read for children too.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Norris Girls Short Film

We love The Norris Girls at Candy Jar! So much that we produced a short film to celebrate its strong female characters. Check it out! And then please buy the book


Candy Jar Books is releasing a series of six titles to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier. The first five fall under the banner of The Laughing Gnome, and follows Sir Alistair, Brigadier Bill Bishop and Dame Anne as they adventure through time, visiting the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2010s! These are followed by a novel that takes the readers right back to the start of the Brigadier’s journey and reveals the decision that changed his life forever!

The Laughing Gnome consists of Scary Monsters by Simon A Forward, The Fear of Web by Alyson Leeds, The Danger Men by Nick Walters, Day of the Matador by Robert Mammone, and Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell. These are followed by On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee & Dr Lynette Nusbacher.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018


Somerset-based poet Cherry Cobb shows off her wild and vivid imagination with the release of her debut children’s novel.

As a former lecturer, Cherry appreciates the importance of children’s literature, and is very aware of the vitality of the topic of World War II in schools across the country. She said: “The idea for Will’s War came to me after I visited a ghost village, which was evacuated in 1943. The trip got me comparing life now to what it must have been like back then. As a major topic in schools, I decided to write a story containing these time periods to help children gain a larger understanding on the subject.”

Will’s War shows life from the perspective of eleven-year-old Will during the twenty-first century. The book addresses life for a child in a single parent family, and the emotional devastation that occurs when a parent decides to leave. The story also represents common feelings of loneliness and ‘not fitting in’. This life is compared to the plight of World War II, where millions of children were evacuated in Britain, bringing together all sorts of people who would not have otherwise met, in the struggle for safety.

Will is an ordinary child, who enjoys playing with Lego and his dog Rollo. Will’s War explores the differences between the two time periods by placing a modern day child into the chaos of the 1940s. Will experiences a situation that is far more devastating than his own. With absent fathers fighting in the war and children separated from their families to live with complete strangers, Will comes to regret his stupid row with his mum and misses his future world. 

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said: “If your child is learning about World War II, this is a book worth getting. It shows the past in a way that children can really engage with. It’s informative in a fun way.”

A cross between Back to the Future and The Railway Children, this book takes you back to a time of fear and devastation. A time that is difficult to imagine in today’s society. Will’s War brings the past to life, whilst introducing relatable issues for the kids of today. Will discovers both friendship and himself along the way, but can he discover how to get home? Join Will as he fights in his own war to return home.

Will’s War is published by Candy Jar Books, price £7.99. It is available from


What will life look like for our children after Brexit? Is intolerance becoming a norm in today’s society? A Cardiff-based writer feels that that the time is right for the public to engage in this conversation. She has written a picture book to highlight these issues.

Author and mum Michelle Freke believes that ordinary families should encourage young people to embrace differences. She says: “In recent times the media has highlighted growing intolerance in our society. Take for instance the recent Windrush scandal, or the rising rates of racial harassment. Our kids pick up on this atmosphere. We cannot rely solely on schools to instil tolerance in our children. Equality and tolerance must start in the home during a child’s formative years.”

Accordingly, drawing on her BA in Early Years Education and her experience writing five previous books, Michelle came up with JJ and Cass, a heart-warming children’s picture book starring her own children. JJ and Cass are two mixed-race siblings, opposite genders and with ten years between them. But despite their differences, they really have so much in common. Michelle believes that it is important to embrace our differences, so our similarities will shine through.

Michelle continues: “I thought my children would be nothing alike. One would be at tots’ group while the other was in the cinema. I would have parent teacher consultation and baby vaccinations within the same hour. But as the little one grew, I began to notice occasions when she would do something just like her brother at that age. I thought that this just went to show: even as we grow into individuals, there’s still so much we have in common, that binds us together.”

So, as the United Kingdom moves away from Europe, Michelle hopes that books such as hers will reaffirm a common belief in tolerance. In writing JJ and Cass, Michelle also remembered her cousins when they were children. She says: “They were two little boys. One would always belittle the other for liking 'girly' things, whereas he liked rugby. I realised that there were so many ways that societal intolerance registers in our children’s behaviour. I knew then that I wouldn’t be alone in striving to teach my children that difference isn’t wrong, or frightening, or weird – difference is beautiful.”

Proud of her Welsh heritage, Michelle is publishing her book through Cardiff-based Jelly Bean Self-Publishing, an imprint of Candy Jar Books. As JJ and Cass becomes available in various bookstores in south Wales this summer, she will take her story on the road, with a promotional tour across the UK. 

Candy Jar’s head of publishing, Shaun Russell, endorses Michelle’s endeavours: “We like to think of ourselves as a conscientious publisher, reflecting the good that books can do for people, as well as society as a whole. We think Michelle’s message is a very timely one, and we’re proud to have her self-publishing with us.”

Featuring full-page illustrations by Patrick Coombes, JJ and Cass is sure to enthral and entertain its young readers, even as it educates them. It is destined to become a go to resource for parents across the country.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Kate Lethbridge-Stewart is set to reunite with her legendary father!

Candy Jar Books is very pleased to announce a new addition to the forthcoming 'Lineage' anthology. Fully approved by Reeltime Pictures, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart is set to reunite with her legendary father!

The story is called Of the Future and is written by range editor Andy Frankham-Allen.

"It's a great to finally make this happen. Keith, Marc and I have been in discussion for a while now about bringing Kate into the LSverse, and what initially began as a cameo in another Lineage story, has evolved into something much bigger. Of the Future is just the start, and takes us right back to the moment that tore Kate and her father apart, setting up the situation we found them in, in Marc Platt's Downtime. Marc, who created Kate for Downtime in 1995, with Mervyn Haisman's approval, is very happy with the story I've put together, which is good enough for me."

Lineage is due out in the summer, but can be pre-ordered now:

Lineage line-up:

  • Prologue: The Soothsayer by Richard Dinnick
  • The Bone Merchants by Andrew Allen
  • As the Son Falls by Wink Taylor
  • What's Past is Prologue by David A McIntee
  • The War Romance by Harry Draper
  • The Note by Andy Frankham-Allen
  • Inheritance by Gareth Madgwick
  • Of the Future by Andy Frankham-Allen
  • Acceptance, and then Understanding by Andy Frankham-Allen
  • The Arcade of Doom by Chris Lynch
  • Epilogue: The Soothsayer by Richard Dinnick

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Connecting Who: Audio sample!

Click below for a Connecting Who audio. This seven-minute taster is written by Peter Grehan and read by David Angus McDonald.

Connecting Who: Artificial Beings examines some of these connections; specifically in regards to those artificial beings (clever computers, robots, androids and cyborgs) we find in Doctor Who.

Peter says: “Imagine Doctor Who as a tree trunk that keeps growing taller and taller, fed by roots that reach down into history, mythology, psychology, folktales, religion, science and the wealth of science fiction that exists in the world. It’s not surprising therefore to find that Doctor Who connects with a lot of other stuff."

The book investigates artificial beings such as the Cybermen, Daleks, Autons, Weeping Angels,  Gangers, Morbius, Xoanon and the Yeti, making connections to literary and scientific sources. Peter is no stranger to Doctor Who, having worked as a host at the Doctor Who Experience and penning the audio drama Sontarans: Silent Warrior for BBV. He says: “In my book I have enjoyed making the connections between Doctor Who and real-life computers, robots and cyborgs. These connections run deep into culture, history and science. It is my hope that fans will not only enjoy reading my book, but begin to connect the dots themselves.”

The print version of Connecting Who: Artificial Beings is available from the Candy Jar Books website or via Kindle.

Monday, 15 January 2018


Britain’s Got Talent legend Lorraine Bowen has written a children’s book, The Crumble Lady, based on the song that first shot her to fame on the popular ITV talent show.

Lorraine says: “I am really excited to be launching my new fiction book for children. It’s been really fun creating these crumbletastic stories with crazy characters and surreal situations! I hope that all the young readers out there like what I have done.”

Lorraine’s first venture into children’s fiction is a selection box of delicious and zany adventures about her fictional alter-ego, the Crumble Lady. Added to this, the book also features five scrumalicious crumble recipes –perfect for baking!

Lorraine joins the ranks of recent celeb authors such as Tom Fletcher and, of course, Lorraine’s biggest supporter, David Walliams.

Of The Crumble Lady, Walliams says: “My golden girl Lorraine Bowen’s talents are endless. Making crumble, singing about crumble, and now writing a book about crumble. It’s sure to become a literary classic that will go down in history as one of the greatest books concerning crumble ever written. Lorraine Bowen is a golden talent. I predict this book will win the Booker Prize!”

The Crumble Lady is yet another string to Lorraine’s bow in her mission to bring a little sunshine into the world. Over the years Lorraine has been touring with her own variety roadshow, pouring positivity wherever she can. Best known across the globe for her Golden Buzzer performance on
the television reality show Britain’s Got Talent (which has now reached over 9 million views on YouTube), Lorraine has been performing all over the UK for over a decade with live shows such as Lorraine Bowen’s Vital Organs, Lorraine Bowen’s Polyester Fiesta and most recently Be Original,
described as “an interactive musical ideasfest for 8-11 year olds” and funded by Arts Council England.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at independent publisher Candy Jar Books, says: “We’re delighted to have Lorraine on our roster, and with such a cheerful and energetic book! Lorraine is a storm of positivity in every project she undertakes, and this has been no different.”

Reminiscent of Jeremy Strong and the Horrid Henry series (with artwork by Basil M Waite) The Crumble Lady features a troupe of colourful characters living on her “not normally very normal” street in Brighton, from the Crumble Lady herself to her neighbours: policeman Constable Seaweed; Vegetable Sue, the friendly local greengrocer; Gellina Gelato, the Crumble Lady’s good friend and fellow dessert-lover; Mr Staccato, who runs the village choir; Pearl Barley, and Mrs Marge.

Shaun continues: “Lorraine’s fictional alter-ego is certainly the star of the show, and is just like the real person – fun, compassionate, and into everything! The Crumble Lady is perfectly portioned for dipping in and out whenever you need a giggle, and Lorraine seems poised to conquer the world.”

The book is released alongside Lorraine Bowen’s audio CD of the same name, featuring fifteen original tracks including The Crumble Lady Theme, Catfood Crumble, The Measuring Song and Life is Like a Crumble – so you can sing along as you read. The album is available to purchase as CD
from her website, mp3 download from Amazon plus streaming from Spotify.

The Crumble Lady is published 25th January 2018 via Amazon and Candy Jar Books

Contact Info
Lorraine is a lively and entertaining interviewee and is available for appearance and performance on live and pre-recorded TV and Radio shows. Interviews can be arranged in person, by phone, Skype or
submitted in writing by contacting:
Shaun Russell at Candy Jar Books

Telephone: 02921 157202. High resolution photo and audio files available on request.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017


Lethbridge-Stewart is expanding, and not just with more books. We’re launching you deeper into the universe of Doctor Who with a website dedicated to the UNIT.

The website commemorates the life of our beloved Brigadier, his comrades, along with the release of the fifth Lethbridge-Stewart season.

Expect to see interviews, forums, never-before-seen material, the chance to sign up to a newsletter, and downloadable free stories. There will be constant updates providing information on upcoming releases and information about the Lucy Wilson Mysteries, a spin-off series featuring the Brigadier’s granddaughter.

We want you to make your journey through The Lethbridge-Stewart collection. This website is a portal for the next experience in your reading.

The website can be accessed here.

Saturday, 28 October 2017


Written by 
Keren Williams

Award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that the world of Lethbridge-Stewart is getting BIGGER, with the launch of its brand new website just for fans!

Website designer at North East Design Consultants, Richard Young, says: “Creating a website for Candy Jar is one of the most enjoyable projects I have ever been involved with. There are so many different elements to the site. It’s something you can easily get lost in and thoroughly enjoy exploring.” 

Candy Jar’s Publishing Coordinator, Lauren Thomas, said: “With the fifth Lethbridge-Stewart season due soon, Richard has managed to create a website which celebrates our beloved Brigadier. The site contains interviews, forums, and never-before-seen material, and the chance to sign up to a newsletter and download a variety of free stories.”

Constant updates on the upcoming books in the series will be added as the site develops. Alongside this, information about The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, a separate series about the Brigadier’s granddaughter, is also available.

Editorial Co-ordinator, Will Rees, says: “Since we launched the books we’ve had lots of questions and comments from fans about the Brigadier’s time in Doctor Who, as well as our novels. We wanted this site to keep readers completely up-to-date with every aspect of the series, explore the mythology of the Brig, and act as a news portal for new releases.”

The Lethbridge-Stewart novels are set just after the Doctor Who serial, The Web of Fear and feature the characters and concepts created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. Lethbridge-Stewart is one of Doctor Who’s longest running characters, and is better known to Doctor Who fans as the Brigadier. Between 1968 and 2008 he was played by the late Nicholas Courtney, whose death was paid tribute to in popular series finale, The Wedding of River Song. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says: “With the fiftieth anniversary approaching we wanted to do something special for the fans. This website collects together everything you need to know about the Brigadier and we plan to add much more content as the months roll by.”

To celebrate the launch of the website, Candy Jar Books is offering readers a chance to win a one-of-a-kind Lethbridge-Stewart original painting created by Richard Young. To enter the competition, just visit the new website and enter Candy’s Jar poll to vote for your favourite book, short story and cover design, and then you will automatically be entered into the prize draw.

The website address is

For more information please contact

02921 157202

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A SPIN-OFF SERIES: The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

Eleven-year-old Lucy doesn’t want to move from the big city. But when she arrives in her new home in south Wales, she’s surprised to see it’s not as dull as she thought. The sleepy village is being taken over by an unknown extraterrestrial force, and it’s down to Lucy to put a stop to it.

Our Lethbridge-Stewart range has a new edition: The Lucy Wilson Mysteries.  She might be the new girl, but don’t be fooled. She has a powerful ancestry from who she has adopted the skills similar to the Doctor. Her grandfather, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has taught her all she needs to know.

We didn’t want you to feel the Brigadier was lost after Nicholas Courtenay’s death. So what better way to continue his legacy than through his family?

Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of Intelligence can be purchased from Candy Jar Books.

Monday, 24 July 2017


Michelle lives with her husband and two sons in the small village in Surrey where she was born. For twelve years she owned and ran two nursery schools, and her favourite part of the day was always story time. She noticed that the children always enjoyed the rhyming stories the most, and so when it came to writing her first book, Can You Hear It Too?, Michelle knew that it should be in verse.
Can You Hear It Too? is based on Michelle’s childhood memories of playing in the great outdoors with her friends.
She says: ‘We were lucky enough to grow up in an area with just a few houses and fields and woodland all around us. We used to have great fun building dens in the woods. When we heard noises from outside, we would huddle in the den wondering what it might be, but it always turned out to be friends, people we were familiar with or woodland creatures.’
These days Michelle enjoys walking, cycling, going to music concerts, holidaying with her husband and children. In between all this, Michelle works as a teaching assistant. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


Britain’s most loved children’s poet, Brian Moses, has returned with a novella bursting with adventure and mystery. After the success of his heart-warming memoir, Keeping Clear of Paradise Street, a reflection on his childhood in post-war Ramsgate, Moses couldn’t stop there with retelling the stories of his childhood.

Python tells the tale of a group of schoolboys hunting for the ghost that’s rumoured to haunt their school’s playground. Amidst the mystery of the ghost, there’s also the concern of the of a twelve-foot boa constrictor nesting in the attic of the protagonist. Whilst it very unlikely Brian’s father kept a python in his attic, he encapsulates the perfect setting of storytelling: “anything’s possible”.

Brian says: “Kids love that sense of a little danger. And if they must be shielded from such things, then literature’s precisely the place for them to give them that – that little thrill that it’s perhaps too dangerous to expose them to in real life,” and Python creates this exact effect. What better fun it is to imagine a snake in your attic rather than a real one there.

In his professional life, Brian advocates for children’s literacy by touring the country visiting schools, theatres and festivals to share his music and poetry with children. In return for his commitment, he has received appreciation from Cambridge University and the National Literacy Trust.

Brian Moses' Python can be purchased at Candy Jar Books: