Debut author and illustrator unleashes the magic of emotion at local nursery

Local author and illustrator, Jodie Smith, recently brought some creative emotion magic to Newport Preschool’s Early Explorers group.

This nursery visit was organised by the preschool’s manager, Summer, who came across Jodie’s debut picture book, Bipolar Blob, and fell completely in love with the concept.

Bipolar Blob, an own-voice story that presents bipolar disorder in an accessible, child-friendly way, was written by Jodie to explain her own bipolar disorder to her infant daughter.

During the visit, Jodie spoke briefly about being an author and illustrator, giving the little ones the chance to learn from a real-life writer, before reading the book and ending the session with a creative task that focused on illustrating your emotions.

When asked about the event, Jodie said: “It was so lovely to read Bipolar Blob to the preschool children. Showing my sketchbook and talking about emotions like happiness, anger and excitement really engaged them and it was great to see them reflecting feelings in their drawings, too.”

Such fun and creative events are a great way to introduce young minds to mental health, keeping things positive, light-hearted and age appropriate.

Summer, the preschool’s manager, was equally as pleased, saying: “What a pleasure it was to welcome Jodie into our preschool to share her wonderful story with the children. Mindfulness and mental health are topics we strive to incorporate into everyday practice, so this visit and mindfulness workshop went a long way in supporting all that we’re striving to achieve.”

Sweet Cherry Publishing, Jodie’s publisher, is on a mission to ensure that each child has access to magical stories, regardless of barriers. Publishing such important, mental health-focused material is a natural step in making sure that every young person can see themselves (or their family) on a page.