The Book of Bedtime Stories

“These are brilliant stories which remind us that there is real talent, invention and creativity amongst readers and contributors to Mumsnet and Gransnet. I really enjoyed reading and selecting these funny, clever stories.” ~ Michael Rosen

bedtime at the lighthouse circle 2I’m a published children’s author! Whoop! You know, “properly”, “traditionally”, “proper” (and any other terms people refer to)  published author. Mumsnet and Gransnet – The Book of Bedtime Stories published by Walker Children’s Books is now out for sale (3rd October 2013) and what a gorgeous hardback book it is, filled with 10 winning children’s stories (including mine – me being the only bloke-man-dad to win!?) whittled down by walker/mumsnet/gransnet to 20, then former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, chose the final 10 published stories, which are all beautifully illustrated by 10 commissioned debut illustrators! And to think, the competition all started here.

“The 10 winning stories are a real treat to read, and we’re confident that The Mumsnet Book of Bedtime Stories will be enjoyed by grandparents, parents and children for years to come.” ~ Justine Roberts, Mumsnet co-founder

I received my author copy from Walker Books yesterday and I proudly read it on the train on the way up to London for the launch party, holding it up in the hope that all the other commuters would notice. Sadly they were all too busy watching films on i-p-a-d-s. You cannot beat a real book and this book is the perfect size, not too big to hold up, laying in bed next to a child, and not so heavy it will bruise if you drop it on your head when you nod off after hours of reading—not that any of the stories are dull! The 10 stories are all gripping and fun and atmospheric and touch on many aspects of childhood that I hope a parent and child will identify with. I hope the book will become a modern classic and be on every child’s Christmas list!

The Book of Bedtime Stories cover

And to the stories, of which there are 10, mine called “Bedtime at the Lighthouse”, a story based on a time my children couldn’t sleep during an exciting stay over with their grandma (nana) at her home under the real lighthouse at Portland Bill. More on the story here. Bedtime at the Lighthouse is illustrated by the incredibly talented (I met her at the party and she’s brill) Joanne Young (thanks to her for the use of her image above) and I think her images add so much brooding atmosphere, scene setting and texture to my story, so much so, you’ll feel you could be under the lighthouse, watching a boat, rising and falling in the swell of the sea, as a rescue helicopter swoops overhead, chased by the passing light from the lighthouse…

All the writers and stories are:

  • Polly the Jumping Cow by Jools Abrams-Humphries
  • Bedtime at the Lighthouse by Philip Bell
  • Time for Bed by Michelle Eckhaus
  • The Night Thief and the Moon by Katherine Latham
  • A Parcel for Theo by Claire McCauley
  • Princess Imogen’s Independent Day by Christine O’Neill
  • The Dancing Bear by Suzy Robinson
  • The Sheriff of Rusty Nail by Sophie Wills
  • Celeste Who Sang to the Stars by Kate Wilson
  • Allie to the Rescue by Helen Yendall

I met all the writers, and most of the illustrators, who contributed to The Book of Bedtime Stories last night and we dashed about excitedly getting each other to sign our copies – perhaps one day they will be worth something? No! Never! They’re priceless! It was also inspiring to meet top people at Walker and Mumsnet and Gransnet and I’d like to thank them all (and Michael Rosen) for the opportunity and for choosing my story. I hope this is the start of a new phase in my writing career. Well, I can hope can’t I?

I hope you enjoy Bedtime at the Lighthouse and all the other stories in The Book of Bedtime Stories, being read soon, in a bed near you. x

“A story shared at bedtime prepares a child for life. So, cuddle up with this book and get reading.” ~ Michael Rosen