I am delighted to launch my first book for children, Hedgehog Finds Her Voice, a brand new 48 page illustrated story book designed to help young victims of crime and trauma feel heard.

The book highlights the importance of active listening and illustrates some of the effects of trauma in an accessible way that will resonate with younger children and generate conversations between children and adults.

In developing the story I spoke with the staff and children at a local primary school and they were instrumental in helping me to understand what good listening really feels like for children.

Hedgehog Needs Help

Something has upset Hedgehog, but when she tries to ask for help her voice disappears!

Did Hedgehog’s lost voice sink into the pond or float into the sky?

Hedgehog is worried about this and sets off to try and find some answers.

Can anyone help her?

Join Hedgehog and her woodland friends on an epic journey to find her voice.

Through creative storytelling and illustrations, Hedgehog Finds Her Voice makes a difficult subject accessible for children, parents and teachers.

Using its quirky animal characters, it encourages children and adults to think together about how to connect and listen to one another, especially after a difficult or traumatic experience.

Ideal for 7 – 9 year olds, this book is a beautiful resource and a charming story that every young reader will love.

Helping Children Find Their Voice

I created the book alongside my friend Diana Batchelor because children and young people who have experienced crime often tell us they’re scared or embarrassed to talk about what happened. Many worry about being blamed. Others imagine the adults in their lives are too busy, or fear that what happened might not be considered serious enough to talk about and they’d simply be told to “get over it,” or “just make friends and move on.”

Hedgehog Finds Her Funding

I managed to obtain funding for the publication of the book from the local police and crime commissioner and this funding also allows me to share a free copy of Hedgehog Finds Her Voice with every primary school in Gloucestershire, as well as using the book with children and families as part of my work with the charity Victim Support.

This is an amazing outcome as it gives children access to the book and has the opportunity to make a real difference for young people in need of help, as well as generating interesting thoughts and conversations in the community.

This model of funding for publication was an interesting process and I might share some of that in a future blog. I’m also currently developing some classroom resources with the aim of delivering workshops in primary schools throughout my county, helping children to feel more confident in identifying their support networks and how to get help when they need it.

The book is available to buy online directly from the publisher and from most online book stores.


Copyright De Gruyther and Batchelor 2023

Photography by Andrew McKay

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