Vibrant and educational collection of children’s illustrated stories exploring, and embracing, differences—from autism to dyspraxia and dyslexia— hoping to promote positive and lively discussions both at home and in school on neurodiversity.
During his earlier career in primary education, where he witnessed many young children who weren’t thriving in a traditional educational environment, Paul Johnson was motivated to try a variety of more engaging methods. Unfortunately, due to the lack of flexibility within the system he often came up against the brick wall of mainstream educational policy. As a result, and after leaving work as a teacher, he discovered that his passion and life goal was to create a platform where people of any age could creatively share their stories of growing up with the likes of autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia. The result? Your Stories Matter, an imprint that publishes individuals’ stories —from illustrated children’s books to adult non fiction— giving them a much needed voice in a modern world. The first four books are aimed at primary school ages. As well as being fun new reads they are also to be used as educational tools for young children growing up with, or alongside other children with, neurological diversities. Each book teaches important lessons in a fun and engaging way, of; acceptance, tolerance, self-esteem and pride. In addition, Paul hopes his work and the books he publishes will dramatically change how people discuss these subjects —moving further away from words like ‘disabilities’ and ‘difficulties’ and instead acknowledging and embracing the simple fact that we’re all wired a little differently.
There are currently four books published by Your Stories Matter with many more in the pipeline later in the year:
Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club written and illustrated by Scottish duo Jane Evans and Ruth Mutch follows the adventures of lively young characters who display dyspraxia, dyslexia and autism including Vera McLuckie —who hates school. Mainly because she struggles with stuff the other kids find easy. Oh, and because she keeps getting into trouble for doing what she is really good at…daydreaming.
You’re So Clumsy Charley written by Jane Binion & illustrated by Colin Shelbourn throws us into the wonderful world of Charley —who is dyspraxic— and always seeming to get into trouble by accident. Fed up of school because he feels different from the rest of the children it isn’t until he meets his Auntie Bella that everything changes…
The Back to Front World of Azzie Artbuckle written and illustrated by Beth Montgomery —who herself wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until she was thirty-seven years old— explores the muddled life of the charming Azzie Arbuckle who loves painting but struggles with reading letters and numbers which makes her feel stupid. If only she could tell someone…
Emily’s Sister written by Michelle Gianetti —whose daughter has dyspraxia and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)— and illustrated by Tanja Russita tells a delightful story, based upon real family experiences, of how Emily discovers how to understand and help her sister live a happier life.
Lively and informative each of these illustrated books fills a much-needed gap in the education system, and will provide invaluable support to parents and teachers alike, to equip young children with the social and emotional skills they need to navigate the challenges of the neurologically diverse world in which we live.
About the publisher: Based in Kendal, Cumbria Paul Johnson is the founder of Your Stories Matter and the parent publishing company Explainer HQ —which provides creative video, audio, animation and print to the business and education sector. All Your Stories Matters titles are published in paperback and are available to order from online retailers including amazon.co.uk. For more information please visit: https://www.yourstoriesmatter.org and follow on Twitter @ysm_books
For a review copy or interview request please contact:
Kate Appleton, Publicity & Marketing Executive at Authoright +44 (0) 20 7993 4438 / email@example.com