A Thatcham mother and daughter creative partnership are looking forward to their first Mother’s Day as published authors and illustrators, following the publication of their recent picture book, Why, Mummy?
The book was written by Melanie Nicholson-Jones, who is a PR and marketing consultant and former journalist and was illustrated by her daughter Amy-Scarlett, who has a background in costume and theatre design.
It is aimed at 3-6 year olds and features a little boy called Sam who asks a lot of questions – a scenario that parents and carers of many young children will find very familiar. The book tells the story of Sam’s day out with his mum, with a humorous twist in the tale.
Why, Mummy? came about as a direct result of the pandemic as the pair had more time on their hands during the Covid-19 lockdown. They took up their old hobbies of writing and drawing to help pass the time creatively.
Melanie originally wrote the story of Why, Mummy? when her children Amy-Scarlett and son Alexander, who is now at university, were in primary school. The story sat in her files for over 15 years until she decided to dust off the manuscript at the start of the lockdown and give it a new lease of life.
Said Melanie: “Why Mummy? was inspired by my own children asking constant “why?” questions when they were young – and me occasionally getting fed up and giving exasperated replies! I read somewhere that four-year-olds ask around 200-300 questions every day, so I knew it would be something that would strike a chord with many parents, carers and teachers.
“By the time I got around to transcribing the original story onto the computer, Amy-Scarlett had grown up and become a talented artist and designer, so I asked her to illustrate the story. She immediately grasped my concept for the book and contributed many original design ideas.”
Melanie researched picture book publishers and sent the transcript and sample illustrations to well-known publisher, The Book Guild. They loved the story and agreed to publish the picture book, commissioning Amy-Scarlett to complete the full set of illustrations.
Amy-Scarlett said: “It was a great working with my mum as she was very receptive to my suggestions, so I was able to put my unique stamp on the story. I even created the new character of Sam’s little dog, who appears in almost all the illustrations. We’ve got plans to start working on another picture book together in the summer and I’m looking forward to it.”
Why, Mummy? was published in summer 2021 and is designed to be read aloud by adults, or independently by fledgling readers. It is available to order online from most UK booksellers, including Amazon, WH Smith and many more. For more information about Why, Mummy? and the chance to win one of three copies of the book in their Mother’s Day Competition, visit their website. Click here to enter. The prize draw closes on 31st March 2022.