I'm so happy to be hosting today's Blog Tour top
|Quizzical Works in association with Mencap|
12 September 2019
My thanks to the publishers and Midas PR for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour
All profits from sales of this book will go to Mencap,
the UK’s leading charity for people with a learning disability.
The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat is a charming and magical tale exploring love, loss and happiness through the lens of a little girl named Ruthie whose days spent with her dog Scruffy are full of fun and laughter – until certain events change everything. The sudden arrival of an extraordinary teddy bear begins to restore her happiness – and to save her life just in time for Christmas. John’s new book is a poignant and sensitive novel that teaches children the importance of change and how to recognise complex notions like grief, illustrated through his gentle, moving and colourful storytelling.
What did I think about it..
First off it must be said that the cover of this book just made me smile, and that smile continued throughout the whole of the story which is quite magical in places, although there were times when I was reading with a rather big lump in my throat.
The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat is a collection of three short stories each one a perfect length to be read, either by a confident young reader, or as a story by a grown-up at bedtime. The strap line states that it is "A moving and magical tale of love and loss" and that sums up the story quite perfectly as we follow young Ruthie who initially lives with her mum and dad in a higgledy-piddledy house in North London, near to Hampstead Heath. When her comfortable circumstances change Ruthie needs to draw on every ounce of her strength in order to cope but she does so with the help of some very special companions.
I think this is a really lovely story collection which looks at love and loss in a very special kind of way and deals with the emotional wrench of losing something in a way that young children will relate to in a meaningful way. Ruthie is a lovely little character, her red hair and beaming smile is captured to perfection by the illustrator who, with well her placed line drawings captures the happy moments in delightful black and white drawings. As I said the cover just made me smile, and Ruthie's red hair is amazing, I mean who wouldn't want hair like that !!
The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat is a perfect blend of happy and sad, love and loss and of madcap dogs, quirky teddy bears and snooty cats. 🐶 🐻 🐱 (shhh.....perfect for Christmas)
John Foley is a children’s book author whose previous works include Seven Simple and Slightly Silly Stories and Another Seven Simple and Slightly Silly Stories inspired by summers spent in Hans Christian Andersen’s house in Copenhagen.
All profits from this book will go to Mencap; as the son of a neurologist who specialised in cerebral palsy, John often heard his father speak about Mencap and their invaluable work for people with a learning disability.
About the Illustrator
Alice Hawthorn is a London-based illustrator who specialises in portraying cats and dogs. She uses a combination of pencil, colour pencils, watercolour, her beloved Rotring pens (which she came across while studying architecture many years ago) and Photoshop.
Her Parson Russell Terrier, Cas, is a constant source of information; with his strong opinions about things, he has a lot of input into her work.
Mencap is the UK’s leading learning disability charity. There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life. People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.
People with a learning disability face inequalities in every area of life with almost 1 in 3 young people with a learning disability spending less than one hour outside their home on a typical Saturday. They face barriers finding a job, accessing activities in their local community and receiving good quality healthcare. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to health, education, employment and leisure facilities. By supporting Mencap you will be helping to support people with a learning disability to live the life they choose, and to do the things they love.
The book will be available from all Mencap bookshops as well as other key book retailers.
For more information, visit Mencap
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