Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I grew up on our family farm in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, alongside my seven sisters and four brothers. I then went on to marry my husband John and moved to set up home Newcastle in County Down, Northern Ireland. God blessed us with three great sons. The boys are big men now and are all very much farm and machinery-minded. I love helping out on the farm in any way I can, I'm very much a country girl.
As I never liked school, I left l as soon as I could but with very few qualifications. Although it wasn't long until I decided to do my GCSEs at night classes. I realised for the first time that I actually enjoyed studying. I continued with lots of classes and enjoyed the sense of achievement that comes with succeeding, especially after spending so many years with no interest in studying. While doing my English I discovered my love of writing. I am a dreamer so putting it all on paper was amazing for me. I gained qualifications in business administrations and spent many happy years in office based work. When the boys were still young I attended our local college in Newcastle and got my Early Years Childcare and Education qualifications and later graduated so that I could teach it. I worked part-time as an assessor for the college until a permanent position came up with Sure Start. I’ve been working in Early Years for over thirteen years and I love every moment of it.
Part of my role within the Speech and Language Department is to facilitate rhythm, rhyme, and story sessions each week for children 0-4 with their parents or guardians. Like a lot of Early Years Educators, I theme my sessions each week using different topics e.g. farm, transport, clothes, and many more. Everything I do that morning including my story relates to that topic. Over the years I have observed which books hold the child's interest. At this young age, our children can have a short attention span. I was finding the books that really capture their attention are the colourful ones with few words yet have a story to tell. They also like to see a familiar character appear in the stories and this was quite difficult to find.
I took all this on board and decided to have a go at writing my own children’s book. After putting my first story together. I dreamed up my special characters Boomer and Blanky. It wasn’t easy getting Blanky from my imagination onto paper but with the help of my fabulous illustrator Daria my dream became a real character for everyone to see.
Boomer and Blanky on the Farm has been highly reviewed by Speech and Language professionals. The farm-based adventures of Boomer and Blanky are aimed to engage young children’s attention long enough to hear a story and promote new vocabulary. I love using repetitive language as it is this form of language children like to repeat and by repeating words their early vocabulary expands. I feel it is a great way to encourage early words and sounds. My hope is not only to help each child develop their speech and language skills but also to foster a love for reading.”
'Boomer and Blanky and the clothes' received the Readers Choice Gold Award in 2021 for best book in the age 3-5 category.
"A book is a gift you can open again and again"
Here's hoping your child enjoys reading the adventures of Boomer and Blanky!
Thank you for your precious time!
Kathleen McPolin X
Meet the Illustrator!
Meet the illustrator of Boomer and Blanky, Daria Shamonlina was born in Mariupol, Ukraine. Living in Odessa, Ukraine now. She has 13 years of illustration experience! We love her work on Boomer and Blanky and hope you do too.