Walker Books is releasing picture book Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Halls and David Litchfield early and for free digitally in partnership with Save the Children’s #SaveWithStories campaign.
Scheduled to publish in hardback this October, Rain Before Rainbows follows a girl and her companion fox, who travel together from a place of loss and despair towards life and colour and the light of the rainbow. The picturebook is written by Smriti Halls, author of I’m Sticking With You which is currently shortlisted for the 2020 Indie Books Awards, and illustrated by Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning artist David Litchfield. Walker says the book’s message of finding hope in the darkest times, as well as the recurring rainbow symbol, has made it “all the more topical and relevant for young children in lockdown”.
The book is now available to download for free from all e-book retail platforms and the Walker Stay At Home Hub and will encourage donations to the #SaveWithStories campaign, which aims to raise money for the children most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, both in the UK and around the world. This includes helping to provide vulnerable families in the UK with early learning packs, supermarket vouchers, essential household items and gifts in kind, so children can continue to learn and thrive during the lockdown.
#SaveWithStories was first started in April by Hollywood actor Jennifer Garner in the US, and model Poppy Delevingne here in the UK, and has seen celebrity names including The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, Helen Mirren, Jude Law and Stephen Fry reading bedtime stories for Save the Children to share on Instagram. Hollywood actor Rafe Spall will be reading Rain Before Rainbows in full on video, to be shared alongside Save the Children’s other celebrity readings. There will also be resources, a competition to win a print of the artwork, a 10-minute challenge video with Authorfy and accompanying online activity to further support engagement with the story.
Lizzie Sitton, senior commissioning editor at Walker Books said: “When we first began producing this book back in 2018, we could never have imagined just how significant the rainbow emblem would have become this year. But seeing it grow as a symbol of positivity and inspiration during this time, we simply had to share this book now, with the belief that it can provide a small source of hope, comfort and reassurance to children and families everywhere.”