The story of Barty Barton came about by chance. It wasn’t a book I had planned to write.
When my grandson was born, I had asked my son if he might like Barty. It had been his favourite bear not just when he was little but also later in life.
With a new baby I didn’t think he would want Barty but was a bit sad when he said to throw him away.
Luckily my daughter understood and suggested that maybe he needed a clean. So, into the washing machine went the toys, including Barty.
Unfortunately, Barty didn’t fare very well in the wash and came out lumpy and bumpy. I thought he was ruined but ended up putting him in the airing cupboard tuning him over and massaging him to dry.
It reminded me a bit of the coronavirus reports of patients in hospital.
I began to tell his story and a few people asked if this was my next book, so the story was written.
It was supposed to be in print for World Book Day 2021 but appeared before Christmas, to which my comment was that Barty just wanted to come along and give us all a well-deserved ‘Bear Hug’, I certainly think we all needed that.
His blog tour was arranged for June 2021 and would also take part a week before the ‘Indie authors Week’.
Once again, the tour was arranged by Rachel Gilbey, of Rachels Randon Resources
The week was set and the bloggers ready.
As the wonderful reviews began to arrive, I was thrilled to see a few toys appearing too.
‘I read this with my ‘almost-four-year’ daughter and shared with a colleague to read with her children and it was loved by all,’ @Morelli’s Reads
As part of the blog tour for Barty Barton, I was lucky enough to hold a Q&A session with Barry’s author, Sue Wickstead, and it was the loveliest author Q&A I’ve done to date. Read on to discover Barry’s own story and that of Sue. @Morelli's Reads
'Sue Wickstead’s Barty Barton is a delightful children’s book that brings out the magic of old toys. Who doesn’t have a tatty old bear somewhere in their childhood memories? There is a special bond between a child and their toys, one that never breaks. No matter how old you get, you never forget that one joyous toy.' .@My Bookish Bliss.
‘I loved that the teddies came to life too and we got to see their thoughts – it can’t be very nice being kept in a box in a dusty attic but it was lovely they got a new chance. I really liked their personalities.’ @donnasbookblog.
‘This delightful children’s picture book will capture the imagination of very young readers, as well as those who have grown a bit older.’ @Gina Rae Reads.
‘When we sat and cuddled for this one, my 3-year-old and 18-month-old got as close as they could they were engrossed with the cute illustrations and the vibrant colours. This book is full of adorable cuddly pictures and was thoroughly pleasing to flick through.’ @Mama Bear’s book hour.
‘This will be equally loved by everyone from the littlest of little ones who will enjoy the gorgeous illustrations, right up to the oldest of adults.’ @FelicityGrace Terry.
‘It’s another great story for bedtime at home or for sharing with fantastic friends in schools,’ @Splashes into books.
‘It’s a heart-warming plotline that brought a lump to my throat. Perfect for reassuring any youngster before their favourite toy goes for its annual bath’. @Mum’s Book blast.
‘Lovely illustrations and my little girl loved this book,’ @Mum_and_me_readhs.
‘The children and I especially loved the photos of the real bears at the end.’ @Buntthebookworm.
‘these are valuable lessons for young children delivered in an engaging story format with colourful relatable illustrations.’ @Jane Hunt Writer.
‘It truly is magical and makes the magic within you come alive,’ @Karenandherbooks.
‘Barty Barton’s wonderfully illustrated and helps tell the story and keep young children engaged,’ @RachelBustin.
‘The illustrations are sensational, simple and so imaginative, and the last page melted my heart. This is a story that could have you searching your lofts for your very own Barty.’ @Lost_in_her_bookland.
‘I loved reading this story to my class’. @school_librarian_loves_books.
‘This treasured picture book teaches children to be kind, supportive, brave, to care for our toys, and a ‘lil bit about toy restoration, which will be interesting to children,’ @Dough_nut81.
‘This is an engaging tale which I am sure will raise a smile with grandparents who will have had boxes of toys stored in their attics! A lovely book to share, young readers will enjoy the tale about the old bear who gets a new lease of life. The illustrations are bright and colourful and the text layout helps the story to flow smoothly.’ @Cat and mouse reading
Cat and mouse say: Look after your old toys.
‘I really enjoyed the illustrations that are well done. I liked how the illustrations show a toy pillow bus, which references (Sue) Wickstead’s picture book series about various buses. Both children and adults will enjoy this picture book for different reasons and will leave a smile on your face.’ @Jessica’s Reading Room.
‘We all adored this book! It made all of us think of that beloved teddy bear‘ @Readingbooks_itsafamilything.
‘The illustrations are simply beautiful and remind the reader of the simple joys of life. The text and the pictures play around with each other on every page, making for an enjoyable reading experience.’ @satabdi
‘Barty is a loving story of friendship, companionship and love that will capture the imagination of its readers, both young and old!’ @asreadbyDanielle.
Barty also had a ‘Party’ celebration in December. ‘Barty’s Party did you miss it?’
It's always good to have a few friends join your journey.
Thank you to 'Artful Doodlers' who do the fantastic illustrations and I'm glad that the reviews also relect their work.
Where to get my books
Books are available from the following: My Books
Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!