Jersey author lands international publishing deal for book about children and grief

An author from Jersey has landed an international publishing deal for her children's story book about how they can process their first experience of grief.

'Forget-Me-Not' is Carolyn O'Boyle's debut book, and follows the relationship between a young girl called Rose and her dog Dotty as it blossoms over time until Dotty passes away.

English teacher Carolyn has written poems and short stories her whole life but says lockdown gave her time to turn ideas for children's books into a reality.

The inspiration behind 'Forget-Me-Not' is what Carolyn calls the 'inseparable bond' between her four-year-old daughter Erica and her golden retriever Bella.

Carolyn wants Erica to know how to process her grief when Bella dies. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Erica says she loves Bella because: "She's like a big sister to me". When asked for her favourite part of the book, she said "when Rose remembers Dotty's memories."

Carolyn wanted to write about young people dealing with their first experiences of grief as she says "more so now than ever mental health for children is a strain and a problem for them".

"One day during lockdown I was watching Erica and Bella play together and I just thought about how would we approach this topic with her when the time comes of Bella not being around anymore, and I thought that the lifecycle of the seasons lends itself well to the lifecycle of humans and dogs, so I tried to put the two together."

She wants children and adults to read the book together so they can discuss grief and how to deal with it.

'Forget-Me-Not' is illustrated by Lucy McLaughlin and will be published by Australian publishers Ethicool Books.