Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Indie Pen-Dance Wednesday: "Whooossshh!" by Vanessa Lees and Helen Mather (The Odd Sock Publishing)


Written by Vanessa Lees

Illustrated by Helen Mather

Published by Odd Socks Publishing

People often ask us why we cover independent and self published books. Books like "Whooossshh!" are why. When author Vanessa Lees got in touch with us to describe how her book was 'born' it definitely struck a chord. Her hubby had wondered why dads always seem to get missed out when it comes to children's books and you know, he has got a point. Far too often we see mums and kids taking centre stage while dad is tucked away in a corner, often grumpy, often used for comedic effect but never sharing the limelight. Until now!

Vanessa set to work, and has produced a vivid and wonderful rhyming book that redresses the balance - and I rather love the fact that the dad in this book does what a good dad should, provides a broad pair of shoulders for shoulder carries, spurs Audrey's imagination on flights of fancy and provides a rich tapestry of stories to enjoy. Yes, we really like this fellah a lot.

Helen Mather's illustrations also give "Whooossshh!" a rocket-boost as we see Audrey musing on being short, and wondering about all the things she could become when she's older. An astronaut? A bear even? Who knows! We loved the scribbly big "Whooossshh!" pages in between each rhyme to give children a nice colourful spread to shout along with.

We have a soft spot for dad-and-daughter books (you can sort of understand why), particularly books like this that show other folk exactly what they're missing out on if they overlook indie and self-published stuff. It's charming, dreamy, imaginative and sublime!

You can pick up a copy of "Whooossshh!" from Amazon or from The Odd Sock Publishing via their supercool website.


About Vanessa Lees:

Vanessa Lees is a copywriter, journalist and more recently an author with her debut picture book Whooossshh. The book was inspired by Vanessa’s husband Daniel who was becoming increasingly irritated by the lack of dads in picture books and although she thought he was being precious, she did begrudgingly succumb to the fact that as usual, he was right. Vanessa rectified the problem by sending Daniel and their daughter Audrey on a magical adventure to the Milky Way. Whooossshh has also taken Vanessa on a journey to book shops and primary schools, where she holds book readings and Whooossshh inspired creative writing workshops for children.

Charlotte's best bit: Hairy legs and scary legs, and a super-cool dad!

Daddy's Favourite bit: Hooray, a book that celebrates imaginative dads and their awesome daughters. A huge thumbs up from us!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Vanessa Lees)