When it comes to children’s book titles, there’s nothing quite like flinging in the word ‘Poop’ to grab a young audience’s attention.
Kudos then to new Perthshire author Jill Young whose first kids’ chapter book - ‘Party Poopers’ - is sure to delight not just those tickled by poop-isms but anyone who likes a good, magical yarn.
Be warned though. It’s Poop, just not quite as you know it.
Seeking inspiration for her book, Abernethy-based Jill looked no further than her own back garden where her then eight-year-old twins Hayley and Fraser were always making potions outside using whatever they could find – mud, water, sand – and their make believe magic-making sparked an idea for a story.
The book is filled with mischief, magic and beautiful pictures.
Realising a life-long dream of becoming an author, her book is filled with mischief, magic and beautiful pictures, and tells the story of young twins Lauren and Jamie who create a potion along with their friends and embark on an adventure to prove their potion is magic so they can join the Professional Organisation of Outstanding Potioneers (POOP!!). See what she did there?
With a host of other colourful characters including a charming tiny pink one – Professor Mixer – Jill used much of her local landscape as background inspiration for the story.
The story has been several years in the making but it was her own twins, now 11, who persuaded her to do something with the idea. And there’s nothing like kids to help keep you accountable!
“They kept on asking about the story,” says Jill, “I started writing and would read out bits to them. They kept telling me to finish it and asking what I was going to do with it. I didn’t have much choice but to get it done!”
After entering her story into a competition and winning first place, Jill knew her story was good enough to publish. She gained lots of advice from a Facebook page for budding authors and illustrators and managed to find an illustrator based in Plymouth who was able to bring her characters to life on the page.
Jill decided to self-publish and says holding a copy of her first book in her hands was a pretty special moment. Despite all the excitement, her kids made sure to keep her grounded and didn’t get too carried away.
“After reading it out to them, I was told that it wasn’t as good as Harry Potter,” laughs Jill, “But I think they were pretty impressed anyway! Having the book in my hands is a bit like finally having a baby in your arms – you’ve spent months planning and caring for it, then suddenly it’s there. I’d obviously seen the cover and read the proofs but somehow it was bigger than I expected. It was quite a thrill!”
I didn’t have much choice but to get it done!
With one now under her belt, Jill has plans to keep writing – she’s currently working on a novel for adults and another children’s book. In the meantime, she’s enjoying visiting schools to read her book and is delighted that Perth’s AK Bell Library has asked for a copy of ‘Party Poopers’.
For info on where to order a copy of Jill’s book and to connect with her, check out her Facebook page.
Well done Jill! We wish you continued success in your writing career!
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