Bluebird has swooped for an “imaginative, beautiful and mindful” children’s activity compendium from illustrator Laura Brand featuring a foreword by Fearne Cotton.
Publisher Carole Tonkinson acquired world rights in all languages from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown. The Joy Journal for Magical Everyday Play will be published in March 2020.
Brand is an illustrator and mum-of-two with her comedian husband Russell. She shares her crafty experiments and creative ideas on Instagram platform @thejoyjournal. She regularly runs workshops for children, including at Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place festival and Port Elliot.
Her book features 50 creative, easy activities for under-sevens, including making squishy soap, moon sand, nature wands and up-cycled shadow puppets. Requiring only store-cupboard, basic craft materials, or found ingredients, projects are graded for potential mess and staying power. Each activity lists the areas in which it will help a child develop - such as bonding, creativity and listening. Each activity is also graded on much it might delight both children and adults.
Bluebird said: “The Joy Journal for Magical Everyday Play will have a foreword by Fearne Cotton, and includes sections on rainy day play, travel tips, bathtime fun, exploring the great outdoors and more. A goldmine of inspiration for anyone looking after young children, it’s also brimming with clever ideas like the quiet basket and busy bags, plus, journal sections offer the chance to record what families liked most about each activity and ideas for next time. The book will feature hand-drawn illustrations by the author throughout.
Tonkinson said: “Laura is brimming with effortless creativity and a sense of how to bring out the fun in the most ordinary settings and situations. From her genius, mess-free quiet baskets (theming toys and books you already have) to re-purposing natural treasures into beautiful, sustainable crafts, this book is going to be the perfect self-purchase resource and gift idea for new mums. Laura is the cool Mary Poppins every parent needs to back them up and turn playtime into fun for everyone involved.”