Children's book will help shy youngsters soar
- Credit: Jo Blake
A North Devon mum and artists has created her first children’s book to encourage shy youngsters to overcome their fears.
Shy Skye Flies High has been written and illustrated by Jo Blake from South Molton, and is inspired by her own childhood experiences.
Aimed at four to eight-year-olds, it is about a young hyacinth macaw called Skye who finds the courage to overcome her fears and play with her friends.
Teaching assistant Jo took a free Facebook course on how to write a children’s book in five days after being stuck in the first lockdown.
She said: “The story is based on my childhood school days. Being quiet, I was left out and alone at breaktime in school and found it difficult to make friends.
“What I have learned through growing up, I am using in the hope to help others with social emotional difficulties.”
Jo’s daughter was having similar difficulties at school and that was compounded by the first lockdown.
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Jo said: “I encouraged her to reach out to the people who she thought might be friends, regardless of herself doubt; reassuring her that I was there and understanding the anxiety of coming out of your comfort zone.
“With me as her back up, she contacted her friend's through social media. She had learned a lot through school and from us about staying safe online, she managed to come out of her shell and has made some lifelong friends at her school.”
Her book took nine weeks to complete and towards the end she was even able to help a friend by illustrating her book too.
Jo has left a copy with South Molton Library and hopes to share more with local libraries when the current lockdown allows.
She also has a stall at South Molton Pannier Market – when it is allowed again – and hopes her experience will inspire others to create their own books.
She said: “There might be people out there who always wanted to write a children’s book and now they are locked down again, they might be able to say ‘I could do that’.”
Shy Skye Flies High is available now on Amazon at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shy-Skye-Flies-High-Childrens/dp/B08NRZ1XRR .