Taking care of a child is everything sticky, sparkly, slimy and scary squashed into small spaces and of course, your sofas. It is a privilege and a challenge to mould a mind and shape a future, all at the same time. As a childminder, you find yourself questioning your methods - continually trying to improve your ways of educating; finding innovative ways to impart morals and create a foundation for each child to build on. One of the biggest tasks we face, is trying to get them to take responsibility for their actions. Getting them to tell the truth; to understand that ‘lying is bad’.
After watching my mum do it, to dealing with the problem head on – I’ve seen that it doesn’t get any easier. But I can’t help but laugh at all the ways we thought might work. I realised that it truly is a difficult task. To ask a child to be susceptible to punishment, by owning up to something, can’t possibly come easy to them. Even we, as adults struggle with the concept at times.
Being a full-time university student and a part time childminder when starting this project, I used inspiration from the children, in nearly all aspects of my work. Nobody dreams bigger and no one’s imagination runs wilder than the little minds we nurture. And so, amidst my assignment’s, my first book was born.
‘Are you Lying?’ is my very first picture book which explores honesty as a key moral in raising our children. Anything we teach a young child forms their understanding of this world. I used my own experiences and reflected them into the storyline, giving it a twist at the end, which many children, as well as adults, have taken a liking to.
Alex, a young boy, with a head full of clouds and a mouth full of chocolate, invites vibrancy, colour and entertainment to my book. The illustrations beautifully portray everything I wanted to encapsulate in a child’s mind. Alex sits with chocolate covering his face and a bar of chocolate behind his back, in his attempt to lie his way out of a sticky situation - despite the clear evidence working against him. In order to teach him the truth, his mother educates him on the consequences of lying. She makes embellished claims, from his ‘tongue turning blue, ‘to his teeth falling out’.
The plot to uncover these ironies in the way we raise our children, is something we can all find humour in. It is a lesson for all, old and young, that we must practice what we preach. If we try to teach a child to tell the truth, through the use of lies, we’re essentially demonstrating counterproductive behaviour. As they say, monkey see, monkey do. Children copy what they see. They’re cheeky, bold and mischievous and will do whatever they can, to work around a situation. I wanted the story to focus on capturing the curiosity we see in children – how a lot of the time, they are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and I do believe I did just that.
Finding someone, who is as passionate about your cause, as you are, is never an easy task and so I struggled with the publishing process. My family pushed me to keep going, especially in the moments I was ready to give up. And I’m glad they did because I would not be able to say that today, I am officially a published author!
As my first book, there was bound to be some things I wasn’t 100% happy about, however, I have a book! My book. It’s mine. My story, my writing, my hard work, all there in a physical copy. Online for people to buy on Amazon and from other book sellers, such as Book Depository, delivering all over the world. It truly is a magical feeling. And I can only hope it opens doors to bigger and better things!
About the author
I am a 22 year old, English Literature and Creative Writing graduate who works relentlessly to fit a world of spontaneity into short moments. I am a freelancer. I am an Author. I am a childminder and a martial artist. Passion is stitched into my fingerprint; persistence is in my DNA. I need time to create perfection and I need a few minutes of peace every few hours to keep me sane.
Every day is a learning curve. The children I teach, are the people I learn the most from. They remind us to laugh when life knocks us down and to stay shining in our darkest days. PACEY has always been mine and my mum’s go-to for everything child related. They motivate us to do more and spark a creativity in our every day.
Thank you for all the support you continue to give us; we hope you enjoy the book as much as we did!