A Horsham social worker has written a book to help children explore their identity.
The story, called Bella the Bee, focuses on finding the things in life that help us feel alive, valued and connected to others whilst touching on the effects of bullying.
The story, written by Phil Clarkson, involves a bee called Bella who feels different to the other bees and doesn’t fit in. By the end of the book, she has found a way to express herself and be who she wants to be.
Phil said: “I hope that children and their caregivers will enjoy reading Bella the Bee together; as well as being a fun and colourful read, I hope it will help to create space to talk about relationships and happiness, as well as sadness – as I believe talking about our feelings is essential for our long-term well-being.”
He added: “I experienced a great deal of loss in my early childhood. This undoubtedly affected my behaviour, self-esteem and sense of belonging.
“When I was a teenager my mother became a foster carer. I have often reflected on the time that my mother gave the children she cared for and the difference it made to their lives.
“Having support from my family and great friends that were supportive, fun and accepting played an important part in my own development.
“It is my relationship with these people and the many positive experiences that we have shared together that I drew on when thinking about the message that I wanted to impart when writing this book.”
Phil has another book, ‘Pinky’; that looks at preparing children for the arrival of a new sibling, which he hopes to get published in 2018. He is also working on several other books, one on the impact of environmental waste on wildlife in our oceans and another on helping children to repair after family loss.
Bella the Bee is available from Austin Macauley Publishers, Amazon UK, Waterstones, WHSmith, Gardners and Foyles. Follow the story at www.facebook.com/identity2018