Note From the Author: I first began work on 'the special stories series 1' in 2005. Drawing from the personal experiences of friends, relatives and healthcare professionals for my inspiration, it took me over a year to write the full set. My mother worked as a social worker for over twenty years in foster care, adoption and child protection. So even from a young age I was always very conscious of the struggles of children at risk. Now, with my own friends working as play therapists, social workers and teachers the need for suitable literature for very young children became even more apparent. Before writing the series I spoke to a number of professionals working with children on a daily basis. I discovered that many were being forced to use sub-standard and inappropriate material, totally unsuitable for young children considering the sensitive subjects they were dealing with.

The objective behind the Special Stories Series was that children would no longer have to contend with leaflets and dreary booklets to help explain such sensitive issues as those address in the Special Stories books. Instead they could hear the story of a child in a similar situation to their own, with language they could understand, illustrated in a vivid and colourful way. This in turn would make it easier for a parent or professional to discuss their situation and any feelings of anxiety that their child might have.

Through Special Stories Publishing, I look forward to creating many more books in the same genre as the current set, dealing with topics such as bullying, parental separation, healthy eating and illness/death of a parent or sibling. My hope is that books from Special Stories Publishing will help to normalize rather than ostracise these issues for young children in classrooms, families and crèches throughout Ireland, the UK and the rest of the world.

Kate Gaynor is a graduate of University College Dublin with a BA Degree in English and Sociology. She currently works and lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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