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Inspiring Imagination and Creativity

 

You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.       John Mason

 We’re all complex, unique individuals, born with our own imagination and creativity. We only have to listen to children play to understand that their imagination has no limits!

As educators we need to nurture this, encourage and inspire every child to develop their natural ability. We must be enthusiastic about their ideas, giving them space, time and support to develop them. This will build their confidence to believe that anything is possible.

As an Author I feel very privileged to bring inspiration and wonder into a class of children when I talk to them about my books. Children will, of course, learn about books, authors and illustrators but when a ‘real life’ Author visits their class it’s a special day!

I tell the class about where my ideas come from and how I create my characters. The children listen intently and enjoy seeing proof sheets and original illustrations. Children are encouraged to write a question for my Q&A session. One of my favourite questions is, ‘Can anyone be an Author?’

I love to answer, ‘Yes, they can. Would you like to be an Author?’

It’s very rewarding to see a class full of aspiring authors and illustrators after my talk.

Children never disappoint with funny questions too. One child obviously thought that I was a particularly hard-working author when they asked, ‘Do you ever sleep?’

After listening to my stories about ‘days out’ a few schools have started a creative writing project with the theme, ‘A Day at the …..’ This allows the children to be creative and imagine a day out anywhere!

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

Albert Einstein.

My books feature positive images of disability throughout. Disability isn’t mentioned in the text, this means each character is accepted for who they are, not defined by their disability. Sometimes my books provide an opportunity to discuss disability but sometimes it is just observed and accepted.

Disability is part of life and needs to be reflected in children’s books. All young children accept differences, their curiosity will raise questions and they develop attitudes from the answers they receive.

We must show through our attitudes and actions that we value all children equally.

 

Lesley Berrington

Author, ‘Hattie and friends’

Collaborations!

 

 

It’s been such an exciting week at Hattie HQ!

I’ve been collaborating with a few people to bring the inclusive message to more people.

Claire from @Clairescobbles on Instagram contacted me to ask if she could paint some very unique ‘Hattie and friends’ stones.

The results are absolutely stunning! I can’t wait to take these to schools with me. I’m sure they’ll inspire many discussions about disability and inclusion.

That’s not all! Gitte contacted me to ask if she could read one of my books on her You Tube channel. She chose, ‘A Day at the Seaside’ and you can hear it here. It’s beautifully read with all the voices, sound effects and giggles! Great job Gitte. It’s a fantastic opportunity to check out one of my books… have a listen!

Recent Reviews on Twitter!

I’ve had some fabulous comments/reviews recently that I’d like to share:

‘I just love your stories and I’ve not seen any other books that compare! Inclusion is not about highlighting differences but accepting people for who they are. Hattie and friends rocks!’

Teacher, London

‘Lovely use of storytelling from Hattie and friends to promote inclusion and diversity’

Educational Psychologist, Belfast

This is a great initiative, especially in the current climate. Teaching diversity to really young children is key to changing society for the next generation.

Assistant Headteacher / SENCO, London

These are just a few of the lovely comments I’ve had on Twitter. It makes me very proud of the ‘Hattie and friends’ series!

If you use Twitter I’d love to connect with you: @Hattiesfriends

Twitter & School Invoices

 

 

Wow, around 500 new followers on Twitter over the last 6 weeks!

It’s been amazing to get involved with all the dedicated educators who regularly contribute and support each other. I’ve made some great contacts and had a few more orders too!

I’ve written a blog for Edge Thinking which stands for ‘Education for Greater Equality’. You can read it here: https://www.edgethinking.org/all-news

It’s certainly been keeping me busy at a time when I haven’t been able to visit primary schools.

If you’re on Twitter please ‘Follow’  @Hattiesfriends

Also, just to let you all know that I can send an invoice with your order, to be paid within 30 days please.

Just e-mail me to enquire: lesley@hattieandfriends.co.uk

Follow @Hattiesfriends on Twitter!

During the Corona Virus Lockdown I’ve been spending a lot more time at home so I’ve been concentrating on getting my Inclusion message out there in different ways.

In June I set myself a challenge to get 500 Twitter followers and I’m very nearly there!

I’m connecting with lots of teachers and childcare professionals and I’m slowly getting the hang of it. I’d never used Twitter very much so I’ve got a lot to learn!

If you’ve got a Twitter account I’d love you to ‘Follow’ @Hattiesfriends I’ll be announcing a ‘Summer Giveaway’ next week so this is the perfect time to join me.

See you there!

This is the ‘Summer’ image from our ‘Seasons’ poster set, only £6.99 for a set of 4 laminated posters. Just take a look on the ‘Products’ Page.

 

Early Years at the Heart Conference

I had a lovely time at University College Birmingham last week, introducing ‘Hattie and friends’ to delegates at their 1st Early Years Conference.

All the Childcare Professionals were very interested in my inclusive books and resources.

If you’d like me to come to your event just get in touch!

 

It was lovely to see this comment on social media later from a happy customer :

Got some wonderful literature today, thank you for signing them, ‘a day at the seaside’, is already my favourite xx

Newark Book Festival – July 2019

A fantastic weekend at Newark Book Festival! This is the first time I’ve had a stall here and it was great fun. I met so many people who loved my inclusive books, I feel newly inspired to show them to as many people as I can.

I also won 2nd prize for Best Dressed Stall, a voucher for a local restaurant. I think I’ll be spending that with my Dad who was a fantastic help all weekend.

I’ve got lots of contacts to follow up; teachers, parents, authors, illustrators.

I’ll definitely be going again next year!

Second Editions have arrived!!

It’s been an exciting day at Hattie HQ!  Boxes and boxes of the new editions have arrived and I’ve been sorting out pre-orders and a special delivery for the CCMA Conference. I’m delighted with the new layout, it’s so clear and easy to read now for everyone. Much more inclusive!

There’s still chance to take advantage of our special offer before the end of February – Set of 4 Books for ONLY £20 – Just e-mail: lesley@hattieandfriends and tell me how many sets you would like to order and an address to send them to. I will send an invoice with the books, payment within 30 days please.

LET’S GET INCLUSIVE!

Coming Soon – Updated Design!

Over the last few years I’ve had so many lovely comments about ‘Hattie and friends’, wherever I go people love the concept, the stories and the cheeky little characters!

It’s time to order more stock and I want to ensure the books are as good as they can be. I have listened to your feedback and agree that the best way to improve the books is to separate the text and the illustrations.

I’m currently working with Ruddocks, Print and Design, and the new books will be available soon.

Here’s an example of the new design. The black text on white background is much clearer and makes the books even more inclusive for anyone who is visually impaired. I hope you like it!