Last week, I journeyed through the beautiful Somerset countryside to visit David Rose and find out about Red Robin Publishing.
Starting out as a graphic designer, David made his way into the world of publishing where he met Neil Griffiths, the brains behind 'Storysacks'.
Neil started writing his own stories to make into 'Storysacks' like 'Shaun the Shy Shark' which explores being different and finding your place in the world! The illustrations by Peggy Collins became beautiful soft toys. Eventually, Neil sold his interest in the 'Storysacks' business and focused on the publishing company. The name was chosen simply because Neil likes robins and he and David suggested the name at the same time!
And so, Red Robin Books was born. Neil wrote a range of picture books, illustrated by various artists, while David looked after the design side of things. A different approach is taken for each book - some have pop-ups, some fact banks- but story is at the heart of each one.
Coming from a teaching background, Neil's enthusiasm for and commitment to stories and story telling shines through each book and the company produces resources to support teachers on their website. David describes Neil as 'a walking advert for reading for pleasure!' Through book sales, Neil also raises money for schools in The Gambia.
Having worked together for about 10 years, David took over the company a year ago as Neil decided to take a step back. Having focused mainly on picture books so far, David is now looking to expand their range to include older and younger readers. 'Itchy Bear' is one of their titles now available as a board book, for example, and 'The Dog with No Name' is their first 'middle grade' read.
At Bologna Book Fair this year, David was looking to expand Red Robin's range of titles/ authors and he showed me some titles that he is considering at the moment. I was fascinated to find out more about how the book world works as I have no idea!
Having shared several of their titles with groups of children, our favourites were 'The Jolly Dodgers!' - the tale of a crew of puny pirates - and 'If Only...'- the story of a caterpillar who longs to be beautiful and talented like the other mini-beasts in the garden. Bright and colourful with lovely use of language, both books really appealed and have much potential for use in the classroom as well as being great story session books.
Thank you to David for making me so welcome- I really enjoyed myself and look forward to seeing what comes from Red Robin in the future!
If you would like to find out more about Red Robin and their books, look at their website: