Here at Child Writes, we’ve been talking about Sarah for a long time! Child Writes’ Business Development Officer, Ainsley Shepherd, wrote the story Slow Down Sarah! a few years ago. OK, maybe longer… But Sarah will soon be arriving. It will be a double celebration at the Child Writes office, with the arrival of Emma’s book Imagine if, also expected.
Writing and self-publishing Slow Down Sarah! has been an adventurous, thrilling, frustrating, rewarding journey. There have been special highlights, such as working with multi award winning illustrator Chantal Stewart, and revelling in the gorgeous illustrations she has produced for the book. Chantal is also the illustrator of such books as Max Meets a Monster, I Spy Mum, I Spy Dad and Dragon Mode. There have also been points of disappointment and endurance, when problems have needed to be solved and answers have not always been quickly forthcoming.
The Slow Down Sarah! blog openly shares the highs and lows of this journey – a very interesting and helpful read for anyone who has ever wanted to write a children’s picture book, and especially for those who are thinking about self publishing. It’s one thing to know how to write and/or illustrate a children’ picture book. It’s another thing entirely to take it step-by-step through to publication! It’s certainly not all smooth sailing, but it is worthwhile! We’ll be publishing these blogs week by week on the Child Writes website – starting with the first one next week - so look out for them!
And for those children and parents (or grandparents), who just want a unique book they can snuggle up together with, to share some special delights and some laughs, Slow Down Sarah! is the book for you. Here’s the extended synopsis:
What child doesn’t dream of having the freedom to explore… the thrill of an adventure… or the excitement of saving the day? With their daily lives full of restrictions and cautions, children will enjoy the original content and adventurous freedom found in the children’s picture book, entitled, Slow Down, Sarah! Sarah’s speedy antics on her little motorbike bring havoc and chaos everywhere that she goes, resulting in the resounding cry of ‘Slow down, Sarah!’ But one day, her Dad is in trouble, and guess who saves the day?
Spinning wheels, clouds of dust, scattered beasts and a particularly cranky cow… Slow Down, Sarah! takes young readers on an adventurous ride! Marked by humorous repetition, rhyme, and a refrain that will quickly engage children, the story will appeal to those ages five and up. The rural content adds another adventurous dimension… where else do children’s recreational activities include roaming around paddocks on motorbikes!
Yet the true beauty of adventure is the inspiration it brings. Sarah may be speedy, but in reality this is representative of her courage and uniqueness. Throughout the story, Sarah simply remains herself – completely undeterred by and even oblivious to the unfavourable sentiments of others. But in the end, it is her courage and speed – her uniqueness – which saves the day. An educational element is also incorporated through the rural lifestyle depicted – while perfectly normal to rural children, it opens up a whole new world to those who dwell in the city.
Sound like fun? Keep your eyes open for the announcement… when Sarah finally comes screeching into the office, revving at full speed, we’ll be sure to let you know!