Florence, originally from South Woodford, has been in Brighton for 13 years now. She moved over with her husband when he was transferred over for a job, Flo was free-lance at the time and so followed her hubby happily.
We spoke to Flo before about being a designer with dyslexia – A Career As A Designer With Dyslexia
In her previous interview, she talked about an aching 30 years as a graphic designer, throughout which she felt ashamed about her dyslexia and therefore decided to hide it, complicating her life and putting herself through a great deal of stress.
She eventually felt like she’d pushed herself too far, and told her previous management that she didn’t believe herself to be suitable for the job and that it should be given to someone more articulate.
Flo went free-lance and took on the projects she believed herself capable of doing, all though, at times, did end up having to do pages of annual reports which she said made her “die inside”.
She decided that she wanted to do something for herself, a project that she could create and complete all on her own, which she would be able to then hold in her hands and feel a sense of satisfaction, pride, and joy.
So she decided to write a children’s book and since then, it has been finished. And it looks great!
The book features a page for each letter of the alphabet, illustrated and designed in Flo’s beautiful and capturing style of brush marks and colours. The font chosen is specifically designed to help children with dyslexia to be able to read it easily. Flo felt that this made a huge difference to the book and was worth investing in. Before printing the finished copy, she sent her book, in digital form, to the man that designed the dyslexia friendly font and asked for his opinion. The feedback was amazing. Flo was over the moon.
Flo also sent a PDF file of the book to two teachers that specialise in teaching children with reading disabilities, including dyslexia looking for some honest feedback. “Half an hour later, I got a message from one of them, saying that it was totally amazing, that she loved the illustrations and YES, it would be perfect for children suffering from dyslexia.”
One of the great things about this book is that Flo hasn’t chosen to feature the same animals you see in most children’s book. She’s chosen to include particular interestingly named animals such as a narwhal, a walrus, a yak, a lemur, an urchin and so on.
Flo started working on this book in the beginning of June, not sure at first whether or not she’d keep the finished product for herself or if she’d go on to publish it. “I only had one printed copy to start with, and when I picked that copy up, it was always going to be my intention to have that book for myself and that the next book I finished would be the one I’d try and get published. But when the printer asked me what I was going to do with it, I was like, Oh I’m just going to take it home and put it on my shelf and then I’ll start my next book. But to be honest, I think there was a part of me that was dreaming of it being successful enough to sell and share.”
Flo has really found herself through making this book. She’s happy to have created something that has the true potential to offer children who suffer from dyslexia a book they can understand. She hopes children will be picking up her book and interacting with the pages and enjoy being able to read the letters easily, without getting frustrated with themselves.
This book isn’t ONLY for children suffering from dyslexia, it can be enjoyed by ALL children. That is what is so special about it.
She has already sold more than 100 books, getting heart-warming feedback.
Her next project is going to be a sea school story about all different types of fish!