First IOW Children’s Festival a great success!

I am so pleased that I got to take part in the first Isle of Wight Children’s Festival, hosted by Quay Arts and Ventnor Exchange, last week. A group of local authors, representing the Isle of Wight Literary Festival (IWLF) Youth Zone, took over ‘The Snug’ at the Quay Arts Centre and got to share our stories with some wonderfully attentive and enthusiastic children.

But there was so much more to see and do! The ten year old and I were enchanted by Yana and the Yeti, a magical puppet show produced by Pickled Image and Nordland Visual Theatre, about displacement and isolation and, ultimately, friendship and finding your place in the world.

The ten year old really enjoyed the workshops too – particularly Fairies v Trolls, where you got to make (you guessed it) a troll or a fairy (the ten year old did both) and the Comic Strip session – both of these were great fun and really well led.


What was particularly nice about the Children’s Festival though, was its overall vibe. It was genuinely child-friendly, with lots of welcoming smiley faces, a soft play area with toys and books (sometimes occupied by the lovely local storyteller, Sue Bailey), a special children’s menu and books and colouring in on every table in the cafe. The inaugural Children’s Festival was a great success. I can’t wait til next year!

Great reviews for The Niggle!

I’ve had some wonderful reviews on Amazon for my new book, The NiggleYou can find the full reviews here, but here are a few extracts:

5 out of 5 stars An age appropriate look at fears and how to conquer them
By Nerdish Mum
I absolutely loved The Niggle, it is so well thought out and so well written. The rhyming really flows as you are reading and it makes everything sound good whether you’re reading it out loud or in your head… The artwork is absolutely lovely and really matches the tone of the story.

5 out of 5 stars Imaginative and beautifully put together
By Sir Readalot
Through humorous rhymes and beautiful illustrations by multi-talented Peta Rainford, we learn about a little boy called Joe who knows no fear – until, that is, an incident occurs… This is an imaginative and well-written story which will enthral your little ones while also teaching them an important message. Highly recommended!

5 out of 5 stars Conquer Your Fear!
By Molly Neely
This story reminds us all, that experiencing life can be a little scary, but fear should never stop you from trying new things!… I gave this book a well deserved 5H rating. Between the perfectly crafted story and the fun illustrations, I just know you will do the same.

5 out of 5 stars Smashing for those anxious children
By Linda’s Book Bag TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Niggle is a smashing children’s story with a fantastic message about being brave and not letting your anxieties niggle away at you so that they prevent you doing what you want and need to do. I thought the way in which Joe ages from two to six and goes from fearlessness through self doubt back to confidence was inspired, as the story gives an accessible and identifiable and positive message to children (and indeed I think some adults could benefit from this book too)… I’m really impressed by Peta Rainford’s children’s books and can recommend The Niggle most highly.

5 out of 5 stars You won’t regret buying this
By Annette S. Verified Purchase
Wonderfully illustrated (I particularly like the swimming pool and underwater effects!) and clever rhymes makes this book a real pleasure to read. The theme of fear, and how to overcome it, was explained so well it should be read by all primary school teachers to their class, and parents at bedtime. Love it!

5 out of 5 stars This is a very helpful book, particularly for children who are needing help combating their own fears
By Whispering Stories Book Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a very helpful book, particularly for children who are needing help combating their own fears. I especially love how the author, through the voice of Resolve, talks to the reader about being strong.

5 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
By Suzanne R
Another super beautiful and colourful book! Wonderful language, an original and very relevant subject – superb!

5 out of 5 stars Buy it!
By Kelly Verified Purchase
A rhyming delight, full of clever illustrations. The concepts of fear, self-doubt and bravery are tricky to put in to words that a child will understand, this book encompasses them in a thoroughly enjoyable and heart warming way. My 6 year old loves it and so do I!

5 out of 5 stars A really fun read, a great read aloud book with children
By Yvonne Me and My Books
I loved this story, it is one of those stories that just has to be read out loud, it is a rhyming tale that I think children will love. It does have a message about how fear can stop you doing things, but also there is a positive aspect to it as well. It also has a nice touch humour in it as well There is a good balance and the nasty Niggle does not have it all his own way, so it ends on a good note. This book is written and illustrated by Peta and she has matched words and pictures very nicely, they complement each other. I would definitely recommend this book for children in the 5-8 year age range. A good book to sit and read with them.

4 out of 5 stars What is Fear?
By Mrs Average Evaluates
We really enjoyed this book, our four year old was a bit scared of the Niggle, but was very happy when confidence showed up.. it’s a great story about what we are afraid of and why, and how to manage fear. The story started lots of great discussions in our family about danger and how adults and children might think about it differently. The story is via a gentle rhyme, and the font was easy to read, and the illustrations were fun. It’s always great to find a book that all our kids can enjoy – albeit on different levels. Great stuff. 

4 out of 5 stars This is a very good book with a wonderful message for children
By Book Worm
This is a very good book with a wonderful message for children. We all get the fear, the doubt, the uncertainty. In other words, we can all relate to the Niggle! This book will give children the tools to overcome their own niggles. The illustrations are very clever as is the concept. I love writing in rhyme so this book appealed in this way too.

4 out of 5 stars An original take on facing your fears, with wonderful illustrations!
By Brydie W
Children respond best to ‘the moral of the story’ when it is imparted in an innovative, rather than didactic way. Rainford achieves this and it is her strength. She is also a talented illustrator, with a love of rhyme and I will be interested to see how her work develops. I would suggest the ending could be tighter, with less need for exposition after the climax. Kids will get the message and illustrations as good as these should be able to do most of the talking. Overall, a surprising and enjoyable read, with an original take on a universal theme. Well done, Peta!

Visit my new Etsy store!

Just in time for Christmas, I am very excited to say that I now have my own Etsy shop. This means I can now offer signed copies of my books as well other book-related products. Take a look by clicking here.

As well as all five of my books, my shop offers lovely Niggle T-shirts to accompany my new book, The Nigglemodelled here by two lovely models.

My plan is to increase the range of products on offer over the coming months. So watch this space!

And the results are in!

Thank you to all of you who entered my pre-publication competition to win a free copy of The Niggle – I was thrilled by the response.

I am delighted to announce the 10 lucky winners are:

Margaret Gallagher

June Rae

Nikki Harris

Linda Guest

Bethan Sayers

Karen Smith

Camilla Whittington

Julie Wallis

Maria Massetti

Carrie Smith

Congratulations to all of you. Your signed copy will be winging its way to you early next week. More information about The Niggle is available HERE.

The Niggle is here and available to buy!

Woohoo! My new rhyming picture book, The Niggle, is officially launched today and is available   TO BUY now from Amazon.

If you do buy a copy, and enjoy it (I hope you do!) do please consider putting a review on Amazon – reviews really do help sales. Many thanks!

The early Amazon reviews have been lovely. Sir Readalot said:

“This is an imaginative and well-written story which will enthral your little ones while also teaching them an important message. Highly recommended!”

Brydie W said:

“… A surprising and enjoyable read, with an original take on a universal theme.”

The Niggle tells the story of Joe Jackson, a little boy who has never felt fear. Until the day a miniature monster swims in his ear! The monster is the Niggle, a tiny terror, who whispers worries in Joe’s head and makes him afraid.

Will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears? Read this rhyming picture book to find out. And remember: you can’t be brave if you don’t feel fear!

Great five star reviews for The Niggle!

Thank you to Bembridge and Shanklin classes at Barton Primary School on the Isle of Wight for your wonderful (universally five star!) reviews of The Niggle. I particularly love your fantastic drawings. I really enjoyed coming in to read to you and really appreciated your very positive feedback.

The Niggle will be published on 15 November. More information available here.

Isle of Wight Literary Festival a great success!

Wow. That was a busy week. It felt like, every minute, I worked, ate, slept and breathed the Isle of  Wight Literary Festival. But it was great fun too.

The Inspire Yurt, all ready for my session

I particularly enjoyed the four school visits I did on Thursday and Friday (l always enjoy school visits.) I calculated that, over the four visits, I did 13 presentation, so by the end, it was all a bit of a blur!

Creating rhymes with the children at Northwood

But I do distinctly recall that I visited Northwood Primary School (top quality Joke telling from the year 3 class) and Summerfields Primary School (gruelling Q&As!) on Thursday and Broadlea Primary School and Gatten and Lake Primary Schools on Friday.

Great fun sharing my stories with the children, creating some rhymes and letter pictures and fielding some tricky question. My favourite question? Gotta be from the year 2 class at Gatten and Lake: ‘you’re really tall: how did you get through the door?’ Flummoxed.

Big thumbs-up from Broadlea!

And then, after the authors’ reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron (doncha know?) on Friday evening, it was on to the main event on Saturday and Sunday.

Had great fun sharing my books, Isabella, Rotten Speller and Isabella’s Adventures in Numberland and helping the children make letter portraits and letter puppets.

Also really enjoyed selling books and meeting lots of book lovers in the Isle of Wight children’s authors’ pop-up book shop. Great to spend some quality time with some lovely local authors. Can’t wait til next year!


The letter portraits were a hit!

Though first, I have the small matter of a book launch to get on with!

Creating a letter person at Broadlea

Lots of interaction from the years 2, 3 and 4 at Summerfields

Your chance to win a copy of my new book!

Click on the The Niggle Launch Competition for your chance to win one of ten signed copies of my new book, The Niggle.

The Niggle tells the story of Joe Jackson, a little boy who has never felt fear. Until the day a miniature monster swims in his ear! The monster is the Niggle, a tiny terror, who whispers worries in Joe’s head and makes him afraid. Will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears?

The Niggle, through humour and rhyme, tells children aged between five and eight that it’s OK to feel fear. In fact, you can’t be brave if you don’t! I hope it is a reassuring (though not too didactic) message for young children – as well as being a fun and exciting story!


National Poetry Day: my rhyming weekend

As it’s National Poetry Day, I thought I’d tell you about some rhymes I wrote at the weekend. I spent the morning being inspired at the lovely Coastal Gardener’s Nursery, near to where I live on the Isle of Wight, writing rhyming couplets – Nursery Rhymes (geddit?!) – and planting them amongst the pots and borders.

It was part of an Artists in the Garden day and for me it was a silly, yet surprisingly challenging, extension of the rhymes I look for on a daily basis (and often post on Peta Rainford’s Books on Facebook.) I must say, it has given me a bit of a taste for ‘guerrilla rhyming’ and I will be looking for other opportunities to try it out. I will definitely be working it into future school visits.

Funnily enough, as I was driving to the Coastal Gardener’s nursery on Saturday, Sally Crabtree came on the radio, former gymnast and current poet. Sally takes guerilla poetry to another level and is an inspiration.

So watch this space – or possibly a school, supermarket, park, beach, library or other public space! I’d love to use school visits to get children involved in the poetry of the everyday (or silly rhymes, if you prefer.)

See me at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival!

Tickets are now available for my session at the Isle of Wight Literary Festival on Saturday 14 October at 11am. Tickets are free, but you need to register for one to come long. It says ages 3-8, but that’s just for guidance; please come and join me for some lettery fun – whatever your age! And check out all the other fun and exciting sessions taking place in the Youth Zone.

Isabella, Rotten Speller