After watching Annabelle Neilson put the finishing touches on The Me Me Me's last season of Ladies of London, her children's book series has taken off with the release of the first book in the series, Angry Me, last year and the launch of Dreamy Me and Messy Me at Waterstones book store in London on Thursday.
Annabelle Neilson at the launch of her children's books Dreamy Me and Messy Me at Waterstones, Picadilly, on February 11, 2016 in London, England.
Each book in the series follows the adventures of the title characters in the land of the Me Me Me's, all the while helping readers explore different emotions. Annabelle has previously said that she drew inspiration from her childhood growing up with severe dyslexia for the character of Angry Me and from her loved ones for the other characters in the series.
But for Annabelle, the illustrations in The Me Me Me's series have been just as important as the words. "Finding the right illustrator is essential. I always had an image for the Me Me Me's, and I needed someone who I could find a mental synergy with," Annabelle told The Daily Dish. "Also, I knew I wanted to work with a graffiti artist, as I wanted my characters to feel more real, raw, and modern. [The books' illustrator] Astro and I work really hard to get each character right to really express the feeling and action immediately so a child would identify very quickly with each feeling or action."
Annabelle Neilson poses with actress and designer Sadie Frost at the launch of her books Dreamy Me and Messy Me at Waterstones, Picadilly, on February 11, 2016 in London, England.
After all, helping children learn about and connect with their emotions is what The Me Me Me's series is all about. "I hope children will take some tools to feel free to express and talk about their feelings but also to recognize those other feelings in their peers and friends," Annabelle said. "I hope also for parents and older members of any family group, it will give them a fun and interesting way to talk about feelings and actions and eventually the consequences of those but also resolutions to them, which in The Me Me Me's books are helped by the character Mellow Yellow Me."
But Annabelle has learned just as much from working on this children's book series as she hopes to teach others. "I have learnt that my own inner child is still very much alive, how important it has been to talk to my many godchildren and really listen to them," she said. "What I love about children is their absolute truth. Yes, occasionally they will try and get away with something, but their honesty to these emotions or actions is fascinating, because as we grow we stop experiencing this honesty. And I think that's unfortunate because your feelings, which lead to your actions, should be expressed as we grow but in a positive way."
We feel you, Annabelle.
- Reporting by Rachael Roberts
Check out pics from the launch of The Me Me Me's: Angry Me, below.