FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pupils at a Pebmarsh school were treated to a reading of a book which encourages them to join together to beat bullying on Wednesday 27 April.
Children’s author Josie Dom - which is the pseudonym of Halstead mum-of-two Sara Prince - shared her story about a monster who makes a habit of frightening people until he is shown a kinder way to act at St John the Baptist Primary School.
The KS1 pupils enjoyed a fun and educational session including interactive readings of Lum, drawing, colouring, and a special hunt for pictures of the titular fluffy blue monster around the school grounds.
The plot follows Lum as he scares a group of children until they help each other to stand up to him and realise that he is only seeking friendship and acceptance. Mrs Prince, 45, of Churchill Avenue, found inspiration for the story through her experiences of being bullied in her childhood and as an adult.
She said: “Lum starts the story by bullying the children in the book, but when the children show him kindness, he learns to behave kindly himself. I hope that the young children hear the message in the book that being kind to others is important.”
The story began life as a rhyme to entertain her children Oliver, 10, and Abigail, 7, before she developed the plot and worked with her husband Jean-Pierre Carraud, 46, a project manager who illustrates using the pen name of Nic Phine, to create the finished book.
Having launched Lum at an event attended by a 100-strong crowd at the Queen’s Hall in Halstead this April, Mrs Prince, who also works as a virtual assistant, has now led storytelling sessions at 3 schools and nurseries in the local area.
“Being invited to share my story with the children at Pebmarsh school was especially wonderful as it is so close to my home and I know some of the children who attend the school. The children were all wonderfully behaved and polite, and I’m hoping that all my future author visits to school will go as smoothly. Miss De’Ath, KS1 teacher thanked me for my visit and added that it was encouraging to see the children so engaged in the story and activities.”
“It was fantastic to have an author in school. The children were engaged in the story which had a good PHSE theme running through it. Everyone also enjoyed the story-related activities” commented Miss De’Ath.
Mrs Prince will donate to the school five per cent of the profit made from book sales at the event. This initiative is in place for each of her book readings, after which the school is asked to nominate a charity to gift the funds to. Her company, Josie Dom Ltd, is committed to financially assisting good causes.
She added: “Writing the story became cathartic for me in coming to terms with being bullied. Reading the story aloud does bring a few tears to my eyes! I hope that children can learn from the story, whether they are being bullied or not, and equally if they are a bully, that kindness can make all the difference.”
INFORMATION: Copies of Lum cost £6.99 and are available from www.josiedom.co.uk or stockists the Head Street Gallery in Halstead. If you would like to invite Josie Dom to read Lum at your school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attached: Group photo of Josie Dom with children at St John the Baptist Primary School, Pebmarsh.
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