There is most definitely a gap in the market for children's story books. The gap to which I refer, is for stories of children who don't attend school; children who are home educated. There are thousands of families across the UK choosing to educate their children outwith school, for a variety of reasons. Yet, try finding a storybook that tells of adventures of children that don't involve school. The nearest I have found, has been Harry Potter where the children don't start school until age 11. As Ron explained to Harry, up until starting at Hogwarts, children learn at home with their parent(s).
Recently the author and blogger, Ross Mountney, announced her new project: a children's story of a little home educated boy's adventures. Ridiculously excited doesn't even begin to describe how happy I was to discover this, and furthermore I could not wait to get a copy.
Fast forward to yesterday, release day of the book (which I had pre-ordered) and through the letter box it fell.
Sadly, Kiddo was unwell as was fast asleep on the couch so wasn't around to hear the story the first time I read it. Or the second time! However, once he awoke from his slumber, we read it, three times, back to back.
The story follows Little Harry (who I'm going to guess is 5 years old) in a typical week, learning at home with his family (parents and 2 older siblings). His adventures chronicle his imaginative play, socialisation (showing exactly how children out of school socialise), regular day-today living and learning. I could see a little bit of Harry in Kiddo - I just hope Kiddo doesn't take inspiration from Harry with regards experiments with blocks....
The story itself is easy to follow, interesting, fun and easy to read, therefore ideal to read aloud to children, or for children learning to read for themselves. Also, the font size and amount of writing per page is ideal for new and learning readers.
The illustrations accompanying the story are beautiful and detailed. The artist, James Robinson, was himself home educated and aged 18 when he illustrated this book.
When I told Kiddo about this book, he got excited as he is "home educated too, Mum!". His favourite parts were at the swimming pool and mud pies. A friend also got the book for her daughter, who exclaimed, upon discovering the nature of the story "Oh, he's just like me!" with a big smile.
I hope this is the first in a series of adventures of Little Harry. We very much enjoyed this book and can recommend it to all little adventurers out there whether in school or not.
The book is availble from Bird's Nest Books