Island-based publisher Cranachan has launched a free, illustrated anthology of poems and stories for children aged 8-12. Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown is a collection of 40 lockdown-themed contributions by writers based in Scotland.
The new book, which is available for free and available on the Books from Scotland website and on Amazon, is described as “a book about lockdown– the good bits, the bad bits, and the ugly bits when nobody could get any toilet roll. It’s divided into three sections – Life in Lockdown, Everyday Superheroes, and the World Beyond Our Windows.”
Stay at Home!, illustrated by Darren Gate, aims to help children reflect on their time in lockdown. There is something in the anthology for everyone, from the serious to the hilarious, with short stories, flash fiction, poems, letters and diaries (including some in Scots) all giving their take on lockdown life topics such as kitchen haircuts, birthdays, home-schooling, daily exercise, pets, nature, neighbours–and even toilet roll alternatives.
The collection is edited by debut novelist Joan Haig and comprises work written especially for the lockdown volume, from well-loved children’s authors and new writers including:
Raisah Ahmed, Annemarie Allan, Dean Atta, Nayanika Basu, Pamela Butchart, Philip Caveney, Maisie Chan, Suleman Chebe, Alastair Chisholm, Justin Davies, Lari Don, Elizabeth Ezra, Matthew Fitt, Kerry L Fleming, Merryn Glover, Laura Guthrie, Joan Haig, Yasmin Hanif, Robert J Harris, Callum Heitler, Barbara Henderson, Diana Hendry, Emily Illet, Lindsay Littleson, Joseph Lamb, Elizabeth Laird, Joan Lennon, Caroline Logan, Janis Mackay, Alan McClure, Miranda Moore, Raman Mundair, Alex Nye, Rachel Plummer, Ross Sayers, Linda Strachan, Chae Strathie, and Victoria Williamson.
Explaining her motivation for creating the book, Haig says: “Originally, I had an idea at the start of Lockdown for a recipe book from children's stories and contacted a few authors then to gauge interest. It was pointed out that ingredients were short in the shops and I gave up thinking about it! But I still felt that there was an opportunity to do something incredibly positive through writing in the Covid crisis, to reach out to children, but also to bring together children's authors in Scotland.”
The book’s publisher, Anne Glennie of Cranachan, added: “It is the job of writers to record and to make sense of this new world. We are living through an historical moment in time–and this collection does not shy away from that reality but explores it, and hopefully, helps children come to terms with it as they recognise themselves and their experiences in its pages.”
Stay at Home! Poems and Prose for Children in Lockdown launches on 28th May and is available to read for free here: www.booksfromscotland.com and is free for download on Amazon.