New mum writes and publishes children's book during maternity leave to raise money for BookTrust

Here's how Philippa from London felt inspired by the arrival of her baby daughter to do something creative to help raise funds for BookTrust, because she believes every child should have positive memories of being read to.

A photo of Phili Ash holding up her book No Excuses Please, plus the front cover of No Excuses Please

BookTrust supporter Philippa (Phili) took her maternity leave hobby to the next level and published her own children’s book, No Excuses Please, with proceeds going to BookTrust. 

Following the success of sales of her book, Phil is now enjoying sharing her story with through school visit and storytime sessions.  

“It was so nice getting real time feedback from my core audience and not just my mates' kids who I feel might be bribed to be nice about itThe kids were all really enthusiastic, asking lots of questions about the story and throwing out funny suggestions of the animals they would want to have in their housesThe bathroom scene was the most popular with them all laughing at the snails on the tootbrush and the walrus on the toilet and they also all joined in on the 'and no excuses please' refrain - which made the reading super fun." 

Phili has now been asked to do readings during Book Week and is looking into opportunities at local libraries and schools too - I’ve just got to fit it in around my actual job! 

Why did she choose to support BookTrust?

"I believe the positivewarm memory I have of reading is something every child should have," she says. "This aligns so well with the work BookTrust does, inspiring children to get started on their reading journeys.

"I loved reading as a child and have incredibly fond memories of my parents and my grandma reading me stories.  Some of those stories I can still recite... and many are luckily still in print, so I have bought them for my daughter."

Phili’s amazing achievement is a wonderful example of how you too can explore a new passion or creative outlet and help raise money to get children reading 

Phili shares how the project began to take shape and became part of her routine as a new mum. She says: "My daughter loved snoozing in the pram when she was first born, so on my many long walks I found myself creating fun characters and stories I thought she would enjoy as a toddler. 

"This became part of my maternity leave routine and when I landed on this particular story, No Excuses Pleaseit felt a waste not to see it through to publication. This part of the process was just as fun and creative, working with a brilliant team who brought my characters and the story to life. 

No Excuses Please is a story about a little boy who keeps coming up with what his mum sees as excuses not to go to bed. What his mum doesn’t realise is that the house is full of wild animals that are blocking the boy’s path, which he tries to get his mum to see. 

"I liked the idea that this could either be a crazy world where the animals really are in the house, or it could be that the animals are in the boy’s mind representing obstacles or fears which he is trying to get his mum to see and understand," says Phili.

Got an idea for exploring a new hobby while supporting BookTrust? We’d love to hear about it! Email us on [email protected] to let us know.

Become a BookTrust Friend today

Give the gift of reading from just £3 a month

Open the magical world of books to children

Donate now