Competition Time

Win a bespoke illustrated and framed print of Mini Mimi with a child you know - it could be your grandkid, son, daughter, niece or nephew!

To celebrate the release of Marvellous Machines and Mini Mimi, Hoolet Publishing is pleased to announce a unique prize for one lucky winner.

Author and illustrator, Ali Currie will draw your child alongside Mini Mimi that can include a short passage describing their best qualities in a fun print and tasteful wall hanging for your child’s room.

If you have a child in your life who would love being drawn alongside Mimi in this first of its kind competition “Like” this post and tag a friend who also knows a child who loves books!

Competition ends at midnight on 14 Dec with the winner announced on 15 Dec. Full T&C's below.

Good luck everyone!


The small print

  • To qualify all you need to do is like our Facebook Competition post of 30 Nov 2017 and tag at least one friend
  • One entry per person
  • Qualification ends at midnight on 14 Dec 2017
  • All qualified participants will be entered into a draw
  • One winner will be selected and contacted on 15 Dec 2017
  • A second winner will be drawn in the event we are unable to contact the winner on 15 Dec 2017
  • Our aim would be to deliver the prize before Christmas (UK only)
  • Hoolet Publishing reserves the right to amend these terms and disqualify participants not acting in good faith

Here’s to more Julias!

Earlier this week, television viewers across America were introduced to Sesame Street’s newest Muppet, Julia - an autistic character who befriends Elmo and Big Bird. Embracing the advice of autism organisations, the producers successfully portray the differences in behaviours, social interactions, communications and sensory sensitivities. In doing so, Sesame Street has introduced a generation of non-disabled children to a disabled character.

I suspect that some parents across the pond were anxiously anticipating the follow-up questions, only to be surprised that few were forthcoming. We often forget that children are wrapped in their own wee worlds and are accepting by nature.  It is when the grown-ups get involved that prejudices emerge and empathy dissipates.

For that reason, Julia is important – vital in fact. Introducing our children to an array of disabled characters during their early years can help dispel intolerance, leading in the long-run to a more inclusive society.

Herein, however, lies a problem. When I asked a group of parents, with non-disabled children, how they approached the subject of disability, most were ‘reactionary’ and used the Paralympics or a character from their favourite soap as an example that could be used to explain differences.

When I asked specifically about children’s programmes with disabled characters, most were aware of Mr Tumble, the Something Special character who uses sign language, and some knew of Hannah Sparkes, the wheelchair user from Fireman Sam. Beyond that, it was agreed that disabled characters are a rarity in children’s programming.

Finding a children’s book with disabled characters, away from specialised websites, can be an even tougher task. If you think back to the books you enjoyed as a child, or even as an adult, you’d be hard pushed to find many featuring a disabled person.

I recall a recent visit to Britain’s largest book retailer in Aberdeen. I wanted to buy a picture book which included disabled characters for my youngest brother who has Down’s syndrome. There were hundreds of books; an entire bookcase was dedicated to the works of one author, but not a single children’s picture book had a disabled character. When I approached staff for assistance, they apologised and awkwardly directed me online.

It seems that where disabled protagonists are lacking in children’s TV programmes, disabled people are more or less absent as main characters in children’s picture books and novels.

Great stories have the power to connect us, to raise awareness, to make people feel and act. Instead of dreading the embarrassment of the inevitable awkward questions in the supermarket, parents of non-disabled children can use books to open up discussions and reduce the stigma around disability.

It’s important for parents of disabled children too. As a child, I cannot remember stories with characters that I could relate to.

Here’s to more Julias

We're doing it a different way

In forming Hoolet Publishing, there were a number of characteristics we wanted to embed from the very beginning.

Central amongst those ambitions was “creating relationships”. 

Relationships are the foundation of stories. How we relate to the protagonists have defined generations of readers, from early childhood to our final breath. We all invest a significant degree of our life to caring about our fictional friends and despising the awful adversaries. The relationship between a reader and the characters is clearly important.

As important to us, is the relationship between the reader and the author. An early memory of mine was a children's author visiting our school to read us her book. Sitting starry eyed at the authors feet I remember a description of a cantankerous ocelot and an early seed of outrageous creative writing was planted.

So we will do everything we can to create these opportunities and we do this both for the author and for the reader. We feel the reader benefits when they hear from author, whether that is in a blog, a video on their favourite social media channel, a picture shared on Instagram, or face to face. We believe the author benefits as it allows them to reach the widest audience possible, in a format as unfiltered as it is possible to be.

To achieve this, we will use technology as freely and fearlessly as our authoring heroes used typewriters. 

Technology surrounds us, aids us and enables us and will be a key feature of every part of our process. It will give readers a window into how we work, how our authors think, the direction of their stories and the goals of our business.

It will be a little scary, for us at least. Undoubtedly we will make mistakes but importantly, we will learn from them, and always look to improve the way we engage.

Already you can expect us to use the internet to share the stories, interactive stories that benefit from the rich features web can offer. We are in a position to create animations and add audio to help guide and lift the stories our authors produce, making them richer and more accessible. We anticipate readers enjoying an online ecosystem where they can safely engage with new and exclusive content, where they can enjoy games that branch off from the books.

We also aim to reduce the distance between Hoolet as a business, the authors as our creative partners and the audience as our lifeblood. 

We are planning live events, streaming of discussions with the authors, blogs about the challenges we have faced and the subjects we feel important to discuss. I hope authors will feel comfortable previewing early drafts of their book, gather feedback and begin engaging the readers from the earliest stage.

And more - so much more. We are excited by virtual reality, voice activation, artificial intelligence - these are all aspects of technology that can and will have an impact in publishing. Those companies that embrace them as a way to enhance stories and build relationships will be the ones that succeed in the next decade.

Ultimately, a publishing company will only succeed if it publishes good stories. We believe we will publish the best stories if we engage and build relationships with the best authors and the widest audience. We know that using technology will enhance the access and reduce the distance between reader and author in a sustainable and positive fashion.

And what is positive for the author and the reader is positive for us.

The Process

We are working hard to develop a unique, innovative approach to publishing stories.

Part of that effort involves reducing the distance between reader and author. A further part is about bridging the gap between an author and creative experts so that their vision for the story is best realised.

But we will never become complacent. We are keen to hear about your experiences and your ideas from improving the publishing process.

Comment below, or send us a message to - we'd love to hear from you.