Today we’ve got a local brand to tell you about. Head 2 Heart Books was set up by local (SW London) author Clare Luther and Maria Floyd who is the illustrator of these beautiful books. We met with Clare to hear more about her books, and Head 2 Heart as a company.
Clare’s history lies in Occupational therapy, having studied Occupational Therapy (OT) at Oxford Brookes University. Clare worked as an OT and Life Coach, both in the public and private sector. She is now an author who also runs a real life dog day care & boarding company called “The Little Paws Hotel ™”. Fascinatingly Clare has 53 dachshunds on her books, and cares for them when their owners are at work or away on holiday.
Maria studied Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmith’s College, London and is a successful painter and illustrator. As well an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher. Maria now regularly exhibits her work in a number of galleries in the South West and divides her time between Dartmoor and North Cornwall.
Clare and Maria met whilst on holiday in Cornwall, and the rest, as they say is history. The pair create gentle stories that help children relate to and recognise their own life experiences. Through different animal characters their books allow children to explore their thoughts and feelings and offer useful ways to think those challenges through. Aimed at children 3 – 8 years old.
Clare and Marie’s latest collection of books is a series called The Little Paws Hotel, with the current titled book Olive…
Olive is a miniature dachshund. Her family is out for the day and Olive needs looking after, so she is booked in to The Little Paws Hotel. It’s Olive’s first visit and she arrives feeling worried. Find out how she manages to get through the day. This story gently addresses feelings of anxiety.
The next book to be printed is entitled Gus…
Gus is a black Labrador. Gus is off on a day trip to the seaside with his friends at The Little Paws Hotel. But his fear of sand stops Gus from having fun and he decides to stay in the car. His fear affects what he thinks, how he feels and how he behaves. Find out how Gus gets on at the beach. This story gently addresses how thoughts, feelings and behaviour all connect with each other.
Things we were love about Head 2 Heart Books:
- We love that Head to Heart books are opening topics of conversation with children. Olive deals with anxiety and although they aren’t handing you a book labelled anxiety. Head 2 Heart books want to enable children to open up about their own feelings and issues. The books are very very relatable for children. The dogs throughout the books will deal with different issues including aforementioned anxiety and Gus deals with his fears. (Children’s mental health is so important, and Clare feels that by reading her books children can really open up).
- Clare goes into schools to read her books to children and also provides workshops. She said it has been incredibly interesting – she can see children really empathising with the characters in her books. This then provides children with the opportunity to discuss their own feelings, with their group, Clare or a teacher. (We just need to provide children with these tools).
- The books are printed by a Carbon Balanced Publication Printer, Impress Print Services Ltd, who work with the World Land Trust. This means that all their paper is sourced from responsibility managed FSC forests and their paper is sustainable and naturally renewable.
- There is no plastic cover or film on the books, which you find on some hard back books.
- There will soon be a “pack of ideas” or online resource to accompany the book. It’s full of ideas for teachers and parents to do to support children’s learning and extend on their book.
- We love the opportunities that this collection of books will provide children and adults.
Next week we’ll have a full review of Olive – the first book in The Little Paws Hotel series. But until then if you want to find out more click through to the Head 2 Hearts website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thanks to Clare, for meeting us and telling us more about Head 2 Heart Books.