Indie children’s publisher Owlet Press has bagged a picture book from teacher Laura Gallagher about the many ways families are created, inspired by the author's own experience of IVF.
Founder Samuel Langley-Swain acquired world rights, including e-book rights, direct from the author for Robo-Babies, to be published on 25th August 2020 in paperback. The title features illustrations by Nicci Martin.
Gallagher conceived through IVF and her son was born in 2018. Following the long, stressful process, she decided to create a story that helped other families to talk about and celebrate the many different ways that babies arrive into the world, including premature babies, IVF, surrogacy, adoption and donation.
The publisher explained: “Robo-Babies introduces a variety of robot families and their babies, of all shapes and sizes, and explains, in simple terms, the different ways families can be formed as well as the range of emotions parents can feel in relation to starting a family. The book was created in consultation with a focus group of 50 families that have experienced fertility issues, IVF, surrogacy, adoption or donation, to ensure an accurate and sensitive representation of all family types. Laura hopes the book will help to break the taboos around fertility issues and give families with experience of this a platform to be represented, celebrated and empowered to talk about and feel positive about their journeys to parenthood.”
Gallagher said: “I never lost hope that one day I would become a mother, but I never imagined, when I was a little girl, that having a family would not be an easy road. Having gone through IVF myself, I became more aware of the many journeys parents take to complete their families and I felt this was an important book to write for children, so they can begin to understand the subject in a way that focuses on the love, determination and strength of all grown-ups who wish to become parents, and which emphasises that all children are special no matter how they arrive into the world. Making a family filled with love is at the heart of everyone’s journey and I hope this book reflects that.”
Langley-Swain added: “Following the community engagement we saw around our adoption story The Blanket Bears, published last year, I was delighted to discover Robo-Babies, a natural next step for us. There is a growing need for inclusive books that represent diverse family types, and my aim with Owlet Press is to find the best authors and illustrators to tell these stories. Robo-Babies fits our ethos perfectly, and is an important addition to our list.”