Hi guys, we have a fantastic new release today! A great book for kids with a powerful and important message, read on to find out more about Peta Rainford and The Niggle.

The Niggle, a rhyming picture book about childhood anxieties and resilience, aimed at children aged between five and eight, is published on 15 November. It is the fifth picture book by children’s author and illustrator, Peta Rainford. Here, Peta answers a few questions about her new book:

 

So, the obvious and burning question: what, or who is The Niggle?

Well, although we may not know it by that name, I think we are all familiar with the Niggle. It’s that little undermining voice that whispers in our ear from time-to-time throughout our lives, undermining our confidence, telling us that we’re going to fail…

 

All that sounds a bit heavy for a picture book for the under-9s?!

Described in those terms, I suppose it does! But in my book, the Niggle takes the form of a comical little monster. It tells the story of Joe Jackson, a little boy who has never felt fear… until the day the miniature monster swims in his ear! The tiny terror fills Joe’s head with doubts and worries, making him afraid of everything.
The question is, will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears?
The Niggle, in essence, is a book about resilience. Through humour and rhyme, it tells children that it’s OK to feel fear. In fact, you can’t be brave if you don’t.

 

As you say, the monster is pretty comical. How did you come up with the look?

Well, I wanted the Niggle to be insidious. He has to look capable of worming his way through the smallest crack in our confidence – hence all the wiggly lines and the worm-like talons. But I didn’t want him to be a monster that would genuinely frighten children. I want them to be able to laugh at the Niggle – laugh in the face of fear, if you like – so I gave him a rather gormless expression.
I can’t take credit for the colour scheme though – that was the work of my nine-year-old daughter. She coloured in one of my early drawings and I couldn’t better it! Although they look quite jolly, I think there is something unwholesome about the combination of colours she has used. And I love the fact that she has given him spots, it adds a suitably putrid aspect, I think!

 

Why have you used rhyme?

Four of my five published children’s books use rhyme. The fact is, I love rhyme. Children love rhyme too; most of the early storytelling they are exposed to – nursery rhymes being the most obvious example – takes the form of rhyme.
Because I’ve used rhyme, I think The Niggle reads a bit like a traditional cautionary tale in the style of Hilaire Belloc or Roald Dahl, although, unlike their child heros, Joe Jackson is a blameless little boy. I also think the use of rhyme particularly suits the character of the Niggle, it means he speaks in a kind of insidious chant:
I am your fear, I am The Niggle,
Into your head I writhe and wriggle.
I make you doubt, I make you dread,
Weaving worries in your head…
I think that will stick in people’s heads in a way that prose wouldn’t. I mean that in a good way, obviously!

 

About Peta:

niggle pic kay mcleodThe Niggle is the fifth picture book written and illustrated by Peta Rainford. Her other books are: Hairy Fairy, Isabella Rotten Speller, Isabella’s Adventures in Numberland and Jamie and the Joke Factory.

Peta writes and illustrates her children’s books on the Isle of Wight, where she lives with her husband, daughter and hairy Jack Russell (and muse), Archie.

The Niggle, a rhyming picture book about childhood anxieties and resilience, aimed at children aged between five and eight, is published on 15 November. It is the fifth picture book by children’s author and illustrator, Peta Rainford. Here, Peta answers a few questions about her new book:

 

So, the obvious and burning question: what, or who is The Niggle?

Well, although we may not know it by that name, I think we are all familiar with the Niggle. It’s that little undermining voice that whispers in our ear from time-to-time throughout our lives, undermining our confidence, telling us that we’re going to fail…

 

All that sounds a bit heavy for a picture book for the under-9s?!

Described in those terms, I suppose it does! But in my book, the Niggle takes the form of a comical little monster. It tells the story of Joe Jackson, a little boy who has never felt fear… until the day the miniature monster swims in his ear! The tiny terror fills Joe’s head with doubts and worries, making him afraid of everything.
The question is, will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears?
The Niggle, in essence, is a book about resilience. Through humour and rhyme, it tells children that it’s OK to feel fear. In fact, you can’t be brave if you don’t.

 

As you say, the monster is pretty comical. How did you come up with the look?

Well, I wanted the Niggle to be insidious. He has to look capable of worming his way through the smallest crack in our confidence – hence all the wiggly lines and the worm-like talons. But I didn’t want him to be a monster that would genuinely frighten children. I want them to be able to laugh at the Niggle – laugh in the face of fear, if you like – so I gave him a rather gormless expression.
I can’t take credit for the colour scheme though – that was the work of my nine-year-old daughter. She coloured in one of my early drawings and I couldn’t better it! Although they look quite jolly, I think there is something unwholesome about the combination of colours she has used. And I love the fact that she has given him spots, it adds a suitably putrid aspect, I think!

 

Why have you used rhyme?

Four of my five published children’s books use rhyme. The fact is, I love rhyme. Children love rhyme too; most of the early storytelling they are exposed to – nursery rhymes being the most obvious example – takes the form of rhyme.
Because I’ve used rhyme, I think The Niggle reads a bit like a traditional cautionary tale in the style of Hilaire Belloc or Roald Dahl, although, unlike their child heros, Joe Jackson is a blameless little boy. I also think the use of rhyme particularly suits the character of the Niggle, it means he speaks in a kind of insidious chant:
I am your fear, I am The Niggle,
Into your head I writhe and wriggle.
I make you doubt, I make you dread,
Weaving worries in your head…
I think that will stick in people’s heads in a way that prose wouldn’t. I mean that in a good way, obviously!

 

niggle pic kay mcleod

 

About Peta:

The Niggle is the fifth picture book written and illustrated by Peta Rainford. Her other books are: Hairy Fairy, Isabella Rotten Speller, Isabella’s Adventures in Numberland and Jamie and the Joke Factory.

Peta writes and illustrates her children’s books on the Isle of Wight, where she lives with her husband, daughter and hairy Jack Russell (and muse), Archie.

 

The Niggle is available from Amazon

You can find out more about Peta and her books in these places-

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