Custom Search 1

Ex-nurse pens inspirational books on children's health

DUO: Joan Blaney CBE with Dr Vincent Okafor at the book launch

A NEW series of children’s books on health hits the international market this month thanks to an inspirational idea from former Birmingham nurse Joan Blaney CBE.

Blaney, who is also a successful entrepreneur, has created a series of unique short stories for seven year-olds and upwards called Adventures in Bodiwell which illustrate how keeping healthy both mentally and physically can keep many unhealthy conditions at bay such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems.

The body is portrayed as Bodiwell, a perfect little town where organs and parts of the body come alive – they have names and personalities and interact with each other as a team, which indulges in all things healthy. For example, there is Harriet Heart, one of the main stars, along with Stella Stomach, Linton Liver, the Kidney Twins, and Mr and Mrs Lung. They are all advised by one of the most important people in Bodiwell – Professor Barnaby Brain.

But in a neighbouring town called Sickville live unhealthy characters such as Gerry Germ, Victor Virus, Beckie Bad-Bacteria and Debbie Diabetes, who are all intent on finding their way into Bodiwell to undermine the health of everyone living there.

The recurrent theme of the first of five books already written is how residents of Bodiwell are able to quell the destructive antics of their disagreeable neighbours – and all stories have a happy, positive ending.

There are catchy verses that provide further educational entertainment along with a quiz from Professor Brain that encourages children to discuss stories with their parents and teachers.

Blaney, who has previously written the self-help book aimed at women called From Kitchen Sink to Boardroom Table, said:

“The books are a simple approach to teach health literacy and will encourage readers, both younger and older, to be as healthy as residents in Bodiwell who outsmart the unhealthy dwellers of Sickville.”

Adventures in Bodiwell has already received a very favourable response globally. Orders are coming in from Kenya, Jamaica and Nigeria, as well as Cameroon. Plans are in place for it to be translated in several southern African languages including Sesotho, Zulu and Xhosa.

Blaney explained that the first book in her series called Mr Smokey and Miss Chemi-Cal Come to Town is particularly relevant for the developing world as cigarette advertising is still high profile in countries like Nigeria.

Dr Vincent Okafor, a consultant geriatrician, who chaired the launch event, praised the books for not being too simplistic. He said:

“The images are very important and vivid – they are carrying crucial messages.”

Blaney agreed, adding:

“Yes we’ve already had some very good feedback on the first book which carries the anti-smoking theme. One person told me that after the reading the book one little girl said to her father: ‘Well, Daddy that’s why you should give up smoking'.

“Then we had a very clever 10-year-old who said: ‘Cigarettes can’t talk, the lungs can’t talk either, but if they could they would say don’t smoke.’ So the messages are getting through.”

The books in the series so far include Goodbye to Cassie Cancer; Shani Sugar and Her Box of Treats; Freddie Fat Cell Keeps his Promise, and Goodbye to Polly Poops.

For more details click here or email:

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments