Natalie Denny on Keisha Jones Takes on the World and illustrated chapter books for younger readers

Keisha Jones Takes on the World by Natalie Denny. Book cover and author photo.

This month's Parakeet book is an inspirational read with characters that newly independent readers will really relate to. We immediately fell in love with Keisha Jones and we know you will too! She's feisty and brave and will inspire young readers to stand up for what they believe in. It's such a fun story brought to life by Chanté Timothy's brilliant illustrations and we're excited to be sharing it with our subscribers. Here author Natalie Denny tells us what inspired the book and which illustrated chapter books for younger readers she recommends you read next.

What inspired you to write Keisha Jones Takes on the World? 

It was an initial idea from Little Tiger that we worked on together to bring to life. In my own life I am involved in activism and loved the idea of creating a character that wanted to make their community a better place. 

What message would you like young readers to take away from the book? 

That you are never too young to make a positive difference in this world. 

Do you think justice is achieved in the end? 

I think the best outcome was achieved for everyone involved. The Bee Squad was formed, and the kids learnt about the Women's Liberation movement and how to organise, Manny's pet shop was inundated with budding pet owners, families welcomed a new fluffy member, the community was shown the power of working together and standing up for what you believe in.

Can you tell us anything about the Bee Squad’s next mission? 

The next book in the series is called Keisha Jones is a Force of Nature and is all about The Bee Squad's next cause to save green spaces and Very Important Trees or V.I.T.s for short. 

Why did you choose to write books for this age group?

It's a fun and interesting age to write for. Children see the world in a very special and unique way and stories that speak to them are always a joy to write. 

Do you have a favourite place to write?

I do like going to Gladstone Library, but I tend to write in my cosy living room in front of my bookcase and ladder!

Which other illustrated chapter books for younger readers would you recommend our subscribers read next?

I love the books from Storymix so Aziza's Secret Fairy Door or The Marvellous Granny Jinks and Me. Little Tiger also have great books for young readers. 

What are your top five animals?

I like snakes, bearded dragons, kangaroos, pandas, and koala bears. 

Copies of our Keisha Jones Takes on the World pack, including a copy of the book and loads of fun activities to go with it, are now available for individual purchase. Grab a copy while stocks last!

This post includes affiliate links to our page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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