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Laura Dockrill is a performance poet and novelist. She was named one of the top ten literary talents by The Times and one of the top twenty hot faces to watch by ELLE magazine. Laura is a young, talented writer/illustrator who is a graduate of the BRIT School of Performing Arts. She has performed her work at the Edinburgh Fringe, Camp Bestival, Latitude, Bookslam and the Soho Theatre and on each of the BBC's respective radio channels, 1-6. She has been a roaming reporter for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, judged the BBC National Short Story Award, and has appeared on Blue Peter, Channel 4 News and Newsnight. Laura also teaches Guardian Masterclasses in writing for children and is on the advisory board at the Ministry of Stories.Her books include MISTAKES IN THE BACKGROUND, UGLY SHY GIRL and ECHOES. Her first series for younger children, DARCY BURDOCK was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. LORALI is her first novel for teenagers.
In a Nutshell: Hearty hope-filled ode to food-love, self-love and living out loud As energising as a super food salad, as satisfying and nourishing as your favourite home-cooked meal, this delectable novel about feeling comfortable in your own skin has been prepared with sisterly love and comes served on a bed of inspiration. Meet your new favourite character, Bluebelle, also known as BB, or Big Bones. She’s a one-woman carnival of confidence and style. She likes “being big. Because there’s something of me. I feel wholesome, there alive”, but she’s super-aware of all the double-standards around size and gender. While it’s OK for boys to “want to seem big”, in contrast “it seems the world wants us girls to be tiny and petite and taken care of. What’s all that about?” BB becomes further entangled in this web of weight obsession when a nurse tells her to lose weight and keep a food diary. She gets on with her life - working in a coffee shop, exchanging top bantz with her adventurous sister, and writing the diary - until a family misfortune throws her off-course. How BB handles this situation will truly make your heart sing. Stuffed with lashings of laugh-out-loud loveliness (just wait until you read about Bum Tills...), relatable real-life truths and love in all its complicated, dizzying forms (food-love, friend-love, sisterly-love, boy-love, self-love), this is, quite simply, the best YA book about self-esteem and body image I’ve ever read.
A magical adventure of mermaids, pirates, myth and romance. Rory is on Hastings beach the night before his sixteenth birthday when he stumbles across a naked girl. This is Lorali, mermaid princess who has decide to forsake her underwater life to become human, a Walker as the Mer people say. Her mother will do anything to get her daughter back and sends storms and sea monsters to cause havoc, while also on Lorali’s trail are the crew of the Liberty – as dapper a group of cut-throats as you’ll find – and some even scarier types. There is much to enjoy – the romance between Lorali and Rory and a wonderful supporting cast, including those smart-suited pirates, rogue mermaid Opal - a kind of marine Kim Kardashian - even the Sea has a voice. Both worlds – salt’n’vinegar Hastings and the court under the sea -are made vivid and this is fresh, colourful, irresistible reading. ~ Andrea Reece
'Such a raw, honest and important book' Giovanna Fletcher Like any new mum, Laura Dockrill felt rather overwhelmed after the birth of her son. But a slow recovery, sleep deprivation and anxiety quickly escalated into postpartum psychosis, and she had to spend a fortnight in a psych ward, separated from her family. It was only when Laura began to put her ordeal into words that she began to find herself again, and recovery seemed within reach. This is Laura's raw, honest and life-affirming story of how she made it through one of the most frightening experiences a mother can face. Now, she wants to break down the silence around postnatal mental health, shatter the idealised expectations of perfect motherhood, and show all new struggling parents that they are not alone. Praise for What Have I Done? 'A pleasure to read...I didn't want to put it down. If anyone is going through a similar experience it will make them feel less alone' Philippa Perry 'A humbingly honest and human war report from the front lines of mothering psychosis and recovery; there is no other book like it' Caitlin Moran 'An incredibly powerful book' Jessie Ware 'This book will give women and their families confidence that the brain and body will heal' Dr Jessica Heron, CEO of Action on Postpartum Psychosis 'An amazing read' Fiona Telford, postpartum psychosis survivor
They say they always know you're up to something when the house goes quiet... Exploring his mother's dressing table, a little boy discovers THE LIPSTICK. It begins on his lips, where it looks very good - MWAH! But then it goes for a little walk ... squiggle, squiggle ... on the mirror ... scribble scribble ... on the shiny floorboards ... smudge smudge. And even on the fluffy cat. Uh-oh! What will happen when Mum, Dad and big sister sees all this mess? From the team behind Angry Cookie comes a hilarious and joyous story all about artistic expression, self-confidence and supportive, accepting parenting.
If Roald Dahl had written A Monster Calls . . . A very special picture book from two rising stars. Everyone is always shouting at Gus to stop leaning back in his chair - but does he care? No way! Then sure enough, the chair falls, he cracks his head and has to spend all summer in bed. Out of the crack escape his memories, dreams and imagination ... and a beautiful little butterfly guide. Gus must follow the butterfly to recapture all he's lost, including that locked box he doesn't seem to want to touch ... Together they remember fish fingers, snapping bubble wrap, cracked pink soap and the leaky tap; they go wild, stomping around in the joy of imagination and happy dreams - but they can't go any further if Gus won't gather all of his memories. His butterfly will die unless Gus is ready to hear about his mum ... A delightful and moving exploration of grief and the joy that makes us human, from the effervescent voice of Laura Dockrill, with heartwarming full-colour illustrations from Gwen Millward.
Sequin's mum is a talented seamstress and their little flat is overflowing with beautiful silks, fabrics, buttons and beads. It's a sparkling sanctuary, like a princess's wardrobe. While Mum works at her sewing machine late into the night, Sequin takes care of her baby brother, Stitch, and dreams of a place in the spotlight for her brilliant mum. But when tragedy strikes, their shimmering world disintegrates and Sequin is forced to confront the biggest loss of all ... Acclaimed creator Laura Dockrill sews together family, imagination and heart in this lyrical and completely unique Barrington Stoke debut. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
'A book to save a whole generation of women' Adele This heart-breaking and uplifting memoir is about resilience, love and finding your way to the other side. Laura couldn't wait to meet her new baby. But as she went into labour things began to go wrong and Laura started to struggle. A traumatic birth, anxiety about the baby, sleep deprivation, a slow recovery - all these things piled up until Laura (like any new mum) felt overwhelmed. As many as 8 out of 10 new mums struggle in the weeks after birth. Laura had never experienced mental illness before and was reassured by family, friends and professionals that what she was feeling was 'normal.' But in Laura's case these feelings escalated scarily quickly into post-partum psychosis; a rare and debilitating illness. Within a matter of days Laura became paranoid, delusional and suicidal. And when her baby was just three weeks old, on Mother's Day, Laura was institutionalised without her baby. Throughout this time she was haunted by a sense of: 'What have I done?' It wasn't until Laura began to put her story into words (on her phone whilst her son slept) that she began to find herself again and recovery seemed within reach; these are those words. Despite this gruelling experience, Laura's story is a hopeful one. She has come out the other side stronger and more assured. Now she is determined to break the stigma around post-natal mental health, shatter the romanticised expectations of perfect motherhood, and to empower parents: you are not alone. *ONE OF STYLIST'S BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS FOR 2020* 'This moving book was a pleasure to read and I didn't want to put it down. If anyone is going through a similar experience it will make them feel less alone' Philippa Perry 'A humbling honest and human war report from the front lines of mothering psychosis and recovery; there is no other book like it, and it is so desperately needed' Giovanna Fletcher
Prepare to fall absolutely in love with this irresistible cookie, crumbly chocolate chips and all. OH NO! Barbra the cactus won't stop playing her recorder, the yummy strawberry toothpaste has run out, and now - to top it all off - Cookie has to have his hair cut! Which all makes for one VERY ANGRY little cookie... But perhaps you, the reader, can find a way to turn his grumpy frown upside down? This is a wildly inventive, interactive, laugh-out-loud tale brings Laura Dockrill's one-of-a-kind voice and Maria Karipidou's hilarious illustrations to the Walker list.
Prepare to fall absolutely in love with this irresistible cookie, crumbly chocolate chips and all. OH NO! Barbra the cactus won't stop playing her recorder, the yummy strawberry toothpaste has run out, and now - to top it all off - Cookie has to have his hair cut! Which all makes for one VERY ANGRY little cookie... But perhaps you, the reader, can find a way to turn his grumpy frown upside down? This wildly inventive, interactive, laugh-out-loud tale brings Laura Dockrill's one-of-a-kind voice and Maria Karipidou's hilarious illustrations to the Walker list.
The heartwarming new novel from the sparkling Laura Dockrill, introducing Bluebelle, and her moving, hilarious take on food, body image and how we look after ourselves and others.It's a food diary. I have to tell the truth. That's the point.Bluebelle, aka BB, aka Big Bones - is a sixteen-year-old girl encouraged to tackle her weight even though she's perfectly happy, thank you, and getting on with her life and in love with food. Then a tragedy in the family forces BB to find a new relationship with her body and herself. . .Tuck in for best mates, belly laughs, boys and the best Bakewell tart.-----Love for BIG BONES'Big Bones is the book I wish I'd had as a teenager and Bluebelle is a friend I wish I had today. Laura has written a beautiful love letter to some of the most important things in life: friends, family and food.' Linsdey Kelk'Stuffed with lashings of laugh-out-loud loveliness (just wait until you read about Bum Tills...), relatable real-life truths and love in all its complicated, dizzying forms (food-love, friend-love, sisterly-love, boy-love, self-love), this is, quite simply, the best YA book about self-esteem and body image I've ever read' Lovereading
SHORTLISTED for the Scholastic Lollies Awards - My Mum Is A Grown Down is a larger than life collection of poems for a middle grade audience about one wild, hysterical and hilarious Mum. She says 'I've worked so hard for years and I deserve a rest!' As she scribbles with crayons and pours custard down her dress, She's dangling from the banister with her head upside-down! Does your Mum do this? Help! My Mum's growing DOWN! Mum is a gamer, a party animal and a free spirit making life hard work for her nine year old son. These poems are a glimpse into their parent child relationship; their antics and adventures. The poems are bold, brave, funny and some - very moving. This collection shows just how funny, rude and naughty mums can be! It's Dahl meets Dr Seuss meets Colin McNaughton with a sprinkling of Absolutely Fabulous. 'The most entertaining poetry collection since Spike Milligan's Silly Verse for Kids.' The i 'A rollicking, rib tickling collection of poems.' Carousel 'A joyous book.' WRD 'Vibrant, hilarious and touching book of well-crafted and original poems. A truly lovely book.' BookTrust 'Individuality and eccentricity is expressed through engaging verse.' The School Librarian
She says 'I've worked so hard for years and I deserve a rest!'As she scribbles with crayons and pours custard down her dress,She's dangling from the banister with her head upside-down!Does your Mum do this?Help! My Mum's growing DOWN!Mum is a gamer, a party animal and a free spirit making life hard work for her nine year old son. These poems are a glimpse into their parent child relationship; their antics and adventures. The poems are bold, brave, funny and some - very moving. This collection shows just how funny, rude and naughty mums can be! It's Dahl meets Dr Seuss meets Colin McNaughton with a sprinkling of Absolutely Fabulous.
Forget what you know about mermaids with Laura Dockrill's hilarious, riotous adventure not to be missed. It has been two years since Rory drowned, and Lorali is in Hastings, living the quiet life of a normal teenage girl. But her safe life on land won't last for long. Life in The Whirl has become a hotbed of underwater politics and as the council jostles to oust the king, one Mer in particular has her eye on Lorali as the key to her own rise to power. Meanwhile, Aurabel, a lowly Mer from the wrong side of the trench, is attacked by sea beasts and left for dead - and without a tail. Raging with righteous anger, she rebuilds herself a mechanical tail and reinvents herself as a fearless steampunk Mer seeking revenge. But she never expected the most important job that was about to drop into her lap. Laura Dockrill makes a dramatic return to the sea set in the same world as the sparkling and magnetic mermaid story, Lorali.
Ten-year-old Darcy Burdock is one of life's noticers. She sees the extraordinary in the everyday, and the wonder in the world around her. In Darcy's fifth story, it's the summer holidays and Darcy is not impressed that her family haven't gone to Hawaii like she wanted. Her best friend Will has abandoned her. Worst of all, Darcy has to pack up all her things ready for moving house. But Darcy is not going to throw a temper tantrum, as much as she wants to, because she's set herself the hardest challenge of her whole entire life: for the next six weeks, Darcy is not going to be dramatic. AT ALL!
Ten-year-old Darcy Burdock is one of life's noticers. She sees the extraordinary in the everyday, and the wonder in the world around her. This is Darcy's fourth story, and the Burdock family are facing a series of disasters. Mum and Dad are having serious money worries. Darcy's granny (the one she doesn't like as much as her main most important grandma) has come to stay, and is snapping at everyone. Pork the cat's real owner has turned up, and wants to take him away. And to top it all off, Darcy is dreading her school sleepover - especially as she's the owner of the world's most ugly, stupid, babyish pyjamas. Can the power of Darcy's colourful, wild, glittering imagination turn all her troubles around?
Ten-year-old Darcy sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her. This third book sees Darcy encounter extra-large-amounts of drama - mice have invaded her house, which means the family must get a cat. Cue a mega-meltdown in a pet shop and then the arrival of Pork, an angry dumpling of a cat who terrifies Lamb-Beth. And while chaos rules at home, Will's long-lost dad has turned-up and taken him out of school. Who will Darcy be friends with now? Must she hang-out with school secretary Mavis EVERY DAY FOR ALL ETERNITY? Joyous drawings, colourful characters and a high-energy voice - the Darcy Burdock books are packed with personality from start to finish.
Ten-year-old Darcy sees the extraordinary in the everyday and the wonder in the world around her. This second book sees Darcy move-up to Big School - and all of a sudden EVERYTHING changes. Her best friend Will isn't sure he should talk to girls anymore, her new teacher may in actual fact be a cauldron-bubbling witch and, horror of horrors, her precious pet Lamb-Beth goes missing. Can Darcy face these challenges head-on, armed only with her curious, whip-smart mind and eye for a story? Joyous drawings, colourful characters and a high-energy voice - the Darcy Burdock books are packed with personality from start to finish.