Working on Alex Strick's tactile book project with Booktrust and Child's Play to develop a meaningful tactile book for children who are blind or partially sighted. The book is based on the ideas, experiences and feedback from visually impaired children and their families, to ensure that it truly meets the needs of these children, as well as being relevant and interesting for ALL children.
Advising on the development of a series of anti-bullying books.
Advising on book selection for a new bookseller.
Letterbox Library reviewer.
Reviewer for The School Librarian.
Spoke about creating inclusive children's books at Challenging Homophobia through Children's Literature, an ESRC funded event at the Palace of Westminster, organised by Mark McGlashan.
Was on the Booktrust selection panel for the Booktouch and Bookshine packs for visually and hearing impaired children.
Spoke to Oxford Brookes MA Publishing students regarding the importance of representative and inclusive children's books, and avoiding negative stereotypes. One of the students has blogged about my talk here.
Developed teacher training on 'Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Children's Books' for Child's Play. Initially delivered in a twilight session on November 14th 2012 at the National Centre for Language and Literacy, Reading. Please contact me if you'd be interested in booking me for training.
Spoke at the Booktrust 'Equal Measures' seminar at the 2009 London Book Fair. My talk aimed to provide a publisher's perspective on how to include disabled children in picture books.
Previously on the steering group for Scope's In The Picture campaign to promote the inclusion of positive images of disabled children in picture books.
Wrote an article on including disabled children in picture books for TAC Journal – a journal for practitioners working with children with additional needs. Read the article here.
It is not possible to list all the titles I have worked on here – key highlights are detailed below:
All Aboard, illustrated by Jess Stockham – I developed this book, in close liaison with Booktrust, for National Bookstart Week 2011. Design layout was key, in this inclusive book, to ensure that text could be replaced for a dual language edition.
Baby Signing books, illustrated by Annie Kubler and Anthony Lewis – I worked on a number of the Child's Play baby signing books, conducting research to ensure that most common signs were used, and liaising with BSL bilingual schools and agencies such as NDCS and Deaf Parenting UK to ensure that the signs and descriptions were accurate. I recently project managed and carried out the translation of the Hands-On Songs series into American Sign Language for the US market.
Nursery, illustrated by Jess Stockham – I visited an inclusive nursery to conduct face to face research with a child who had Spina Bifida and was a wheelchair-user. This enabled Child’s Play to include a fully rounded wheelchair-using character in this book, with full knowledge of what he would and would not be able to do independently. BSL signing cards were also developed, in consultancy with schools, to complement this series of books.
The Ding Dong Bag by Polly Peters, illustrated by Jess Stockham – I worked with Jess on this book to include a child wearing a wrist splint. The books was shortlisted for the Nasen Inclusive Children’s Book Award in 2007. I subsequently worked with Jess on the author’s follow up book, It’s Raining! It’s Pouring! We’re Exploring!, to include a number of environmental clues, such as lever taps and grab rails in the bathroom, to indicate that the mum has a mobility impairment.
Helping Hands, illustrated by Georgie Birkett – whilst developing this series of books, I ensured that they were fully inclusive. As well as a number of representations of disabled people – as main characters, in the background and through environmental clues – the books also depict a number of different family types and challenge gender stereotypes.
The Cloud by Hannah Cumming – I worked with Hannah to help her represent a child using a walking frame, and others using sign language. I also pioneered the inclusion of a child’s drawing which depicts a family with two dads.
Flip-Up Fairy Tales – I provided advice on both the illustrations and manuscripts for a number of titles in this series to ensure that they didn’t reinforce negative stereotypes.
Army of the Dead by Christopher Edge - I copy-edited the second book in this thrilling series from Christopher Edge.
Currently editing three further books for Salariya.