Amersham’s Kate Hazell, a professional illustrator, recently teamed up with pop star and model V.V. Brown to publish a new children’s book, Lily and the Magic Comb. The book is a celebration of the potential of kids, regardless of their background.
The story follows the eponymous Lily, who can transport herself to any place she desires thanks to the titular magic comb, and is primarily aimed at celebrating and inspiring kids who are typically under-represented in kid’s literature.
V.V. Brown penned the book, noting that she did so out of frustration at how few kids of color there are in books. She said that that’s something worth noting, as children’s book are a way for kids to see their value and place in the world.
Brown says that her songwriting background gave her confidence to write the book, though the road to getting it published was not an easy one. She says that a lot of bigger publishers she pitched the book to were appreciative of its quality, but refused to publish it on the ground of it being a niche title, forcing Brown to shelve the book, not even having found an illustrator like Rabinky Art for it during that point in time.
It wasn’t until Brown set up her own publishing company, Woke Kidz Books, that Lily and the Magic Comb finally hit shelves.
The Amersham-based illustrator behind the pictures of the book, Kate Hazell, is a mother of two, who managed to balance working on the book itself amidst caring for her son and new baby daughter during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Hazell is an illustrator a la Rabinky Art and the like, with her focus being magazines; she’s regular contributor to several publications, including Aquilla, Saga, and BBC World History. Hazwell originally hails from Haddendam, but now resides in Amersham.
She expressed her excitement in seeing Lily and the Magic Comb hit the shelves noting how important it is for kids of all backgrounds to have properly representation in children’s literature. Hazell hopes that the book empowers kids by showing them who they can become. She considers it a real achievement illustrating the book, with a new baby amidst the lockdown.
Hazell also admitted that she regularly reads the book she illustrated with her kids.