Sunday, 17 February 2013

Let's Talk About...

A new series of First Experiences books has recently been launched by MacMillan imprint Campbell Books.  Called Let’s Talk About… by Stella Gurney and Fiona Freund, these books are aimed at encouraging parents and children to discuss various situations, such as getting a new brother and sister in Let's Talk About: My New Baby or moving into a new bed in Let's Talk About: Big Beds and Bedtime.

The books are part of a fresh and original “first encounters” series, discussing the key developmental stages of childhood - from bedtime and new babies to potty training and the ‘no’ word - in an entertaining and un-patronising format.

Aimed at toddlers, preschoolers, and their parents the books have a lively and contemporary design, incorporating photographs, illustration, text and speech bubbles in a bold, simple comic-strip style. The Let’s Talk About… titles are fun, visually stimulating, easy for young children to navigate and perfect to enjoy together. The series marks a departure from existing books of this kind by reflecting young children’s and their parents' actual experiences; real environments and real situations with an authentic toddler's voice, accompanied by useful information and advice for parents and children.

Unlike other recent parent books (such as Pamela Druckerman’s French Parents Don't Give In: 100 parenting tips from Paris: Practical Tips for Raising Your Child the French Way which was published the same day!), Stella and Fiona do not want their books to be a ‘how-to’ manual highlighting why you are doing things wrong if you aren’t doing it their way. They feel there is already too much pressure on parents and books that stress just one particular way of doing things aren’t helping. Most parents are just doing their best, there is no right way of doing things but the important thing is discussion and this is what the Let’s Talk About… series aims to facilitate between parents and children.

Here’s what Stella and Fiona have to say about their books:

We made them because, as parents we noticed there's a real lack of honest, funny books for pre-school children that accurately represent the hurdles and situations they have to deal with. Where are the potty books that unashamedly mention poo, wee and bum-wiping? The new baby books that acknowledge you might feel less than delighted about your new sibling? The books about tantrums, living between two homes, or death? We couldn't find them, but we know that children ask and wonder about these things and think it's really important they're on the shelves. So to get the ball rolling, we’re making the books.

Let's Talk About... books offer the occasion for a chat with your child to talk about a new or difficult idea. They look fun, bright and appealing and show real kids in real environments and familiar situations. Informal photos present "reality" while colourful illustrations give the child's perception of what's going on. The books are written in a child's voice and from their point-of-view, delivered in a mix of narration, thoughts and prompting questions to the reader. They can be funny and irreverent, but they're also thoughtful. They take the pressure off your own experience because they're about someone else, but they're designed to keep bringing the conversation back to you. They're also by parents of pre-school children (us!) who are possibly more familiar than they want to be with the kinds of questions children ask; who know what they understand and find funny and interesting.

Let's Talk About books are not how-to manuals. We don't think we have all the answers, and we firmly believe that there's no "right" way of parenting - everyone's style is as individual as they are. We think most parents and carers are already doing it right, simply because they're doing their best and we want to celebrate and support them. But what we do know is that the best way to pick your way through the metaphorical dog poo on the path of Life is to TALK ABOUT stuff together.

In Let's Talk About: Big Beds and Bedtime, Layla is 2 and Mum and Dad say it’s time for her to move to a Big Bed! We share this important ritual in any child’s life, as Layla prepares for her first night; banishes monsters; attempts some late-night wanderings, and finally wakes, jubilant (if a bit too early). From sleeping in unfamiliar places to getting up in the night; fear of the dark to waking up early, this sleep book has got it all wrapped up (in a big duvet).

Whilst Let's Talk About: My New Baby stars Jack who is also 2, and soon to have a new baby brother or sister. While Jack narrates what is going on around him, simple, funny cartoons show his perceptions of how his mummy will ‘have’ the baby; how he will share his mummy with the baby; his real feelings about the baby when it finally arrives and much more.  Featuring breastfeeding, tears and telly, this is a new baby book with a difference!

Stella & Fiona really hope you like the books, and would love to hear all comments and suggestions - visit them on Facebook: or and follow them at @StellnFi on Twitter.

The first two books in the Let’s Talk About… series Let's Talk About: My New Baby and Let's Talk About: Big Beds and Bedtime have just been published, with two more books Let’s Talk About… Pants and Potties and Let’s Talk About… The ‘No’ Word following soon.


  1. this is a good idea as it mixes fun with an important milestone that is usually difficult to talk about

  2. My cousin has some of these books, they're very good.


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