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Arts / Crowdfunding success for book on mother and child bond

Children’s book on ‘life, love and breastfeeding’ to be published soon

A SHETLAND writer said she felt “completely overwhelmed” after reaching her crowdfunding target which will enable her to publish a children’s book on the theme of breastfeeding.

Becky Robertson, who is pregnant and looking forward to becoming a mother of three later this year, says she has been writing for her whole life and has long dreamed of being a children’s author.

She describes Albie Ted Goes to Bed as a book about “life, love and breastfeeding”. Having just reached her target via Kickstarter, the £1,200 raised will cover the cost of illustrations and printing 200 copies of the book.

The 36 year old said she would be hosting a launch and book signing event at The String café/restaurant later this spring.

“I am completely overwhelmed at the support that the book has received and can’t wait to have it printed and ready to send out to those who pledged. Those who haven’t already pledged still can, and will receive a book once they are printed,” she said.

“The biggest surprise for me is how many books have been sold outwith Shetland, it’s wonderful to have the support of the community, but extremely heartening that people as far away as the USA have also pledged. It makes me extremely proud.”

Author Becky Robertson with her son Mason.

After meeting her partner Darren in 2015, he and his son Michael moved in with her shortly after and they had a child together, Mason, in 2016.

Becky – who wrote a column for Shetland Life magazine for a few years – said it was around the time of Mason’s first birthday that she realised “I’d dropped the ball on becoming a famous, stay at home mum who wrote kids’ books all day long”.

The idea for Albie Ted Goes to Bed came when she began thinking about how to wean Mason having exclusively breastfeed him from a couple of weeks old.

“I was quite worried about the whole ‘weaning’ process as, for all the websites, books and articles there are about breastfeeding, there is almost nothing aimed at the kids,” she says.

“I bought what was available, in the hope that it might be of some comfort to Mason when the time came for us to stop, but there was nothing he enjoyed reading, let alone anything that struck a chord with him!”

She was looking for a piece of literature emphasising that love and breastfeeding “were connected, but not the same thing”, so that her son would “understand that even when the milk was gone, the love and bond would stay”.

Becky added: “Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that did this. So, I did the obvious thing… I wrote it myself!”

She decided to self-publish, and to donate some of the proceeds to the Breastfeeding Network, which had been “such an incredible source of help for me in the early days of feeding”.

After posting on a Facebook group for children’s authors and illustrators, author and illustrator Samantha Webb got in touch to say she’d love to be part of the project.

“She’s been an invaluable motivator and advisor throughout the last six months and is definitely the driving force behind me keeping up the momentum of the Kickstarter campaign,” Becky said.

She said she hopes to have her book printed before the baby arrives.

“For me it will be a way of demonstrating to Mason that, even though his breastfeeding journey ended when he was two and a half and his baby brother or sister will now be getting mummy’s milk, he will still always be loved and nothing will change that.

“The thought of being able to sit down with my kids at night and read them a book that I wrote, that’s all I’ve ever dreamed off.”

Her next book Rona the Rebel is already written and ready to go: “She is a fierce, confident and strong young woman who shows the world (and her neighbours and teacher) that women can achieve anything! I really hope I’ll be introducing her to you soon!”