Every book I work on as an editor inspires me in some way. I only take projects that have some meaning for me, otherwise the work is too hard. This month the first of two publications is Glumbags, a children’s book by author Charlotte Tarrant and illustrator Ivy Trasi. It’s delightful, the first from Starlike Books. I helped to edit in the early stages of the author’s journey towards publication.
When I first saw it, it was just text on a white page. There were a few sentences that needed a cut or a tweak to make the meaning clearer, and a character I felt was a little underused.
What appealed to me immediately though were the layers of meaning in the text. The story asks a question. Is there any good, or any point, in what we fear and avoid? What does Glumbags say to us? While the child-character is purely puzzled about why Gumbags gets the cold shoulder from all the shopkeepers in the High Street, an adult reader, might be wondering about whether what we avoid has something to teach us.
So I made notes for the author and followed her social media updates over the weeks; I noticed that there was an illustrator on board and it began to feel like there was a buzz around the publication. When this gorgeously illustrated book appeared with its sparkling sentences, I saw that character was now a real source of wisdom and encouragement for the child. And there was something about the publishing ethos that was quite special. #MyKindofHuman invites readers to celebrate someone who helps others.
Starlike Books exists to cheer on, gift and create children’s picture books that inspire courage, hope, love and joy.
Nicely done Charlotte and Ivy. What a joy to be a small part of this.