Joe Fisher is a renowned presenter, host, speaker, mentor, comedian, children’s worker and the list goes on! Many of you won’t need to be introduced to Joe as he is part of the Spring Harvest family and has been involved with us for over 25 years, with his heart for creative communication and love for Jesus at the core. This new project isn’t any different. His new children’s book was born out of unemployment, frustration and lockdown, themes many of us will relate well to at the moment.
As a lover of words and with his background in poetry, (you may have seen his previous spoken word poetry book, titled Faith, Hope and Nudity), he decided that lockdown would be the ideal opportunity to write another book. At first, his plan was to write a collection of poems for children, the first titled I-SO-LA-TION. Soon Joe realised that this was more of a rhyming story than a poem; looking at life in lockdown through the eyes of a young family and that it needed to be illustrated. This is where the fun began as Joe tried to get a publisher on board but was told repeatedly that the subject was too niche and that there wouldn’t be time to produce a book before lockdown was a distant memory.
Joe gave it to God, praying for some finances to employ an illustrator and go down the self-publishing route. Lo and behold, a website domain name that he had bought for his online quiz nights was sought after and Joe was offered some money to sell it. The amount he was offered was just enough to pay an illustrator and the book was born. Cue Andy Gray, a West Country based vicar who also happens to be an illustrator. Joe then embarked on a very successful Crowdfunding journey and the rest of the money was raised to produce and print the book which he and Andy have done entirely on their own.
The book, now titled When the Bugs Came was released on Monday 21st September and is already becoming a big hit with families, teachers and children. With a charming rhyming style, the story sees Jacob, Isla and mum experiencing new habits that we all picked up during lockdown, such as hand washing whilst singing Happy Birthday, clapping outside our doors, home schooling, social distancing and more. It allows young families and children to think about how this has affected us all and gives them a chance to talk about and process these strange times. Both education and health groups are seeing this as an aid for mental health and well-being for children all over the country, you can shop the book here.