10 Stories To Make A Difference from Pop Up Projects CIC

Publication Date for the first 10 Stories: 24 June 2021

The Blurb

10 Stories To Make A Difference is a collection of original illustrated stories published by children’s literature non-profit development agency Pop Up, which has been bringing books, schools and communities together for 10 years. They have collaborated with 20 writers and illustrators and a host of editing and design professionals from 12 publishers to create a collection of titles for a range of ages from five to early teens. It reflects a collective will for inclusion in the industry both in the content of the books (they include characters of colour, LGBTQ+ and disabled characters) and the choice of writers and illustrators (eight are writers or illustrators of colour).

The Review

I was delighted to receive copies of three of the books in the collection, two from the 5+ and one from the 7+ range, and they are all utterly brilliant! It’s a wonderful collection of inclusive books that mean every child will be able to hold a mirror up to see themselves reflected, and for others a window to look into other’s experiences and build empathy.

A Match For Mermaid by Elanor Cullen, illustrated by David Roberts (5+)

A picky princess rejects a string of eligible suitors in this hilariously illustrated underwater tale about choosing to love who you want.

Written by debut author Eleanor Cullen and brilliantly illustrated by David Roberts, A Match for A Mermaid is a genre-busting fable about defying convention and same-sex union.

Told in rhyme, this fabulous fable sees our heroine, Malu, meet a range of suitors for her hand in marriage. While there are plenty of mermen in the seas and oceans none of them make her heart sing in the same way as her best friend Brooke.

Warmth and wit are combined to tell a tale of loving who you choose, with fabulous illustrations that add extra humour to this beautiful tale.

Here Be Monsters by Jay Hulme, illustrated by Sahar Haghgoo (5+)

A sea-born creature, who never quite belongs, discovers who she really is, in this powerful illustrated song about metamorphosis and finding your true home.

Writer Jay Hulme’s ‘little epic poem’ is a tender and uplifting parable about the transgender experience, with breathtaking illustrations by Iranian-British illustrator Sahar Haghgoo.

Here Be Monsters reads like a creation story with bright, bold illustrations adorning every double page spread. As we journey with the creature through the depths of the oceans to the open skies above, we see her despair and loneliness at not knowing who she is or where she came from, to her sheer joy at discovering who she is and her place in the world. Stunning!

Indigo Takes Flight by Krista M. Lambert, illustrated by Chris Riddell (7+)

Indigo has a secret – and it’s growing too big to hide! An enchantingly illustrated tale about coming to terms with who you are, and finding acceptance from those you love.

Written by debut author Krista M. Lambert and magnificently illustrated by former Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.

Indigo Takes Flight is a deeply moving parable about the inner conflict involved in coming out as LGBTQ+ to family and friends.

Chris Riddell’s breathtaking illustrations add real depth and emotion to Krista’s captivating verse tale of a young boy battling to carry a secret that becomes to big to hide. Once he accepts his dragon, Indigo takes flight in the most heart warming way. A sheer delight to read with many layers.

Huge thanks to Pop Up CIC and Nicky Potter for sending me copies to share with our children in school. I will definitely be adding to my collection! You can find out more about the books in this year’s collection, including a peek inside, and order books from the Pop Up website.