At Nosy Crow, we really, really pride ourselves on having a sense of our audience. We say that we publish child-focused, parent-friendly books for 0-12 year olds. We like to think that we have a child reader in mind for everything we publish, from acquisition, through editing and design, to publication.
But sometimes we are surprised.
We have, for example, been so delighted by the response that we’ve had from parents of children with learning disabilities, particularly parents of children with Down Syndrome, telling us how much their children love our apps. When we were making the apps, we can’t claim that we had in mind their particular appeal and value to children like Ines, but she was, and remains, one of the greatest fans of our apps, and that makes us hugely proud.
In 2016 and 2017, we published a number of books of colouring cards and envelopes, illustrated by Rebecca Jones: we thought that they’d appeal to children, but, from the beginning, they had strong adult appeal, and were praised by a number of influential members of the adult colouring blogging community.
Then, a week or so ago, we received this email:
My dad is 89 and he has found a new lease of life colouring and sending the cards and envelopes designed by Rebecca.
He has asked if he can send one to her to say thank you.
This time last year he was so less motivated and constantly ill … the staff are amazed as we are.
Could you forward one to her if we send it to you?
We of course said we’d be happy to send the card to Rebecca.
And today, the lovely card from Derek to Rebecca arrived!
This is what Derek said on the card:
“I entered a competition when I was in primary school. It was to design a poster for Hovis Bread. I came 3rd. Since then, I have painted on backcloths for amateur dramatics and folk singers posters for flower folk festivals. I have painted on hardboard, paper, silk (natural and artificial). I thought when I had to spend my time lying in a bed in a nursing home that my painting days had gone, but I was wrong. Your books have given me a lifeline! Long may you continue. Regards, Derek.”
Jim sent us a photograph of Derek colouring in.
We absolutely love hearing stories from ANYONE who enjoys our books, but we found this particularly touching, and a reminder of the sometimes unexpected power of the work we do, and the sometimes unexpected reach that we have.