Former teacher helps children deal with bereavement after publishing new book

A former primary school teacher turned author is helping children deal with bereavement after publishing a new book.

Lesley Rawlinson, who retired from Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Runcorn five years ago, launched her new career as a children’s author in October after publishing her debut book ‘Tales from the Woodpecker Tree’.

The compilation includes seven short stories and features tales on everything from a rockstar tiger and a selfish woodpecker to a sad little boy who has lost his smile.

Now the former teacher has gone onto publish her second book ‘JoJo’s Star’ which is helping children to deal with the grief associated with losing a much-loved family pet.

The picture book, suitable for three to six-year-olds, follows the story of Jojo the cat and how he makes his own family understand that he’ll always be with them.

Lesley, who taught for 30 years, said: “I wrote this story on impulse after we lost our own cat who was called Jojo. He left such a huge hole in our family and I wanted to use that experience as a way of helping children to deal with the sadness of losing their own pet.

“I think the idea of being able to look to the night sky and find a star which can be dedicated to a much-loved family pet whether it be a cat, dog, rabbit or goldfish is a simple way for children to recall all their fond memories.

“The stars will never disappear so therefore it’s a way for their memories of that pet to stay alive.”

Lesley, who regularly visits schools to talk about her books and work as an author, will begin a new tour of schools this autumn. She also has the support of local vets at Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery in Frodsham who will be using the book to help families cope with pet bereavement.

Lesley said: “There are so many children that have to come to terms with losing a family pet and the impact of that loss on a small child can be profound. Youngsters don’t always talk about their feelings and death is often a difficult subject to deal with at home and in the classroom.

“I’m hoping that by visiting schools with my new book it will bring some comfort to children and if they’ve experienced a loss of their own, it will provide an opportunity for them to talk about it and communicate their thoughts in a positive way.”

During school visits, Lesley, who has enjoyed writing since she was a child, also reads from ‘Tales from the Woodpecker Tree’ and shares her passion for the natural world with children.

She said: “My love of nature has always been behind my writing. I grew up in a small village surrounded by trees and fields and through my books, I aim to open children’s eyes a little more to the natural world.”

Lesley is now busy penning her third book ‘Christmas Tales from the Woodpecker Tree’ which will be released next month (October) and she is hoping to release a fourth book ‘Monty’s Blackbird’ in the new year. She is also working on her first full-length children’s novel ‘De Morville’s Sword’ – a story about four children who are trying to solve an 800-year-old mystery.

Published with the support of independent publisher Team Author UK, Lesley’s books are available on Amazon.

For more details on school visits and her latest work visit the website or email for more information.



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