AFTER almost two decades resolving playground disputes, a Littlehampton woman has written a series of children’s books in an effort to defuse the arguments before they begin
First-time author Shirley Pope, of Beaumont Park, and her friend, former Worthing woman Eira Reeves, have created four books designed to encourage young children to play peacefully and adopt a more considerate attitude towards others.
Shirley, who worked at the former Elm Grove Infant School in Littlehampton, as a midday lunch assistant for 19 years, is looking forward to the official launch of the book series, entitled Tom, Katie and Friends.
They are scheduled for national release next month on retail giant Amazon’s website.
Shirley, 64, said: “The idea certainly came from my time at Elm Grove.
“It felt like I was working with the United Nations during some lunchtimes, with some children complaining that they had had their toys taken or that they had been pushed by someone. It was pretty crazy.
“I thought that surely there must be a way to try and sort this out before the tears on the playground.
“That’s when I approached my friend Eira, who has written and illustrated dozens of books worldwide, to see if she could help.”
The four stories revolve around a group of six young characters who have to deal with a number of everyday situations that regularly crop up in the playground.
Shirley said the books were designed to help youngsters, aged between three and six, learn how to cope with a variety of daily social problems.
In each book children are shown how to interact with one another with respect and also to honour each other’s character, personality and emotions.
Co-author Eira, who moved from Worthing to the Isle of Wight, has produced about 85 different children’s stories during her 30-year career as a writer and illustrator.
She said: “I thought that it was a fantastic concept because there really wasn’t anything like it in the market.
“I really believe and hope the children will be able to work with the books and with their teachers or parents, so they learn together about respect, love and care. There is also a list of questions that the children can answer at the back of the book.”
The books are £4.95 each and are available to pre-order by calling 0845 120 4476, or visiting www.amazon.co.uk