Being a journalist doesn’t afford Jason much scope to be creative in his everyday writing. He’s managed a handful of film scripts, many of which are based on real-life people and events, again restricting the ability to let his mind take him on exciting journeys to unexplored destinations.
But the arrival of his first child made him reassess his writing outlook. Excited about introducing his son to the enriching joys of reading at an early age, he soon found that many of the books he’d enjoyed as a child himself were nothing like as satisfying to the adults reading them out aloud.
Only a handful of authors, in Jason’s humble opinion, consistently manage to write children’s books that are genuinely uplifting in mood, coherent in tone and – most importantly – with mellifluous language, are great fun to read, engaging the adults every bit as much as they engage the children.
It’s the spirit of the likes of Julia Donaldson, Oliver Jeffers, Rob Biddulph, Jez Alborough and the unparalleled majesty of Dr Seuss that Jason hoped to emulate as he set out to write books that he wanted to read to his children – and, he hopes, they’ll want to read to theirs.
His first two books, both published in October 2019, were targeted at his own children: What Can You See? uses simple rhymes to introduce under 3s to the world around them, while I Like To Put Food In My Welly plays around with language to conjure up hilarious images for young readers.
But just as important as his own words are the illustrations that will help parents lift the language off the page and Jason was delighted by the artists that his publisher, Graffeg, paired him with. He was deeply moved by the thoughtful and loving way Hannah Rounding interpreted What Can You See? And Max Low added a whole new level of humour to I Like To Put Food In My Welly that Jason could never have imagined.
Coming up in 2023 are two new picture books:
In April, look out for the follow-up to I Like To Put Food In My Welly. Even the publishers thought the original title, Lots of Wild Animals Live In My Shoe, was a bit too silly, so it’s been shortened to A Zoo In My Shoe.
And in June comes Jason’s first storybook, The Mittens With No Thumbs, a heart-warming comedy about persistence and determination with a twist that will make you look at the world differently.
Graffeg will also be making appropriate merchandise available…
If you’re interested in buying the books, these links will help you find them: