Sweet Cherry acquires debut mental health picture book

Award-winning publisher Sweet Cherry Publishing has acquired the first illustrated children’s book of Hull-based mum-turned-author Jodie Smith.

This exciting release, titled Bipolar Blob, beautifully illustrates Jodie’s own experiences with bipolar disorder. Written to explain the condition to her infant daughter in a fun, understandable way, it shows the rollercoaster of emotions that the illustrator/author experiences regularly.

When asked about the book, Jodie said: “Raising awareness of my own experience with this mental illness is so important to me, not only for my own daughter to understand it but for any other person in a similar situation. It’s so important, now more than ever, to have open and honest discussions about various mental health conditions, to make it less scary and to help families and friends on their own journeys. It has really helped me to reflect, and I’m so grateful to finally be sharing Bipolar Blob with the world!”

Recent years have seen increased demand for children’s books that tackle tough subject matters such as loss, illness or mental and physical health. Just this year, some of the awards season’s leading titles incorporated these themes into their stories, allowing even the youngest readers to learn about (and recognise) such things.

Sweet Cherry’s Head of Design, Jo Samways, is equally excited for the book’s release, saying: “As soon as I read Jodie Smith’s manuscript I was impressed by the personal and honest portrayal of this complex subject. It can be so difficult to write about bipolar, yet her style made it accessible. Coupled with her joyful and bright illustrations, I knew this was a book Sweet Cherry just had to publish! It’s a very personal interpretation and I can’t wait to see it in bookshops, where it can be used to help children understand how adults might be affected by bipolar. I can’t wait to watch Jodie develop and create more extraordinary titles with Sweet Cherry!”

Filled with vibrant illustrations by Jodie herself, this is a striking personal account of mental health that will fit well within the hands of parents and children alike.

Bipolar Blob publishes on Thursday 26 October 2023 and will be available via all major retailers.