I am Sophie Edgar: children's author, mum, wife, educator, magician and bookworm.
Yes, I'm a bookworm. Always have been, always will be. I love reading for myself, and I love reading to children.
I was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and spent most of my childhood reading, writing poems and stories and pretending to be a teacher. I was the one with all my dolls sat in rows whilst I called out their names and ticked off my homemade register!
After my A-levels, I moved to Leeds to go to university and studied Psychology for two years, followed by my two-year teaching degree.
From 2005-2020, I was a primary school teacher working at a wonderful school in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, now my hometown. I loved introducing books into as many of my lessons as possible. Working in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, I taught phonics and reading daily. When a child goes from sounding out words to reading sentences fluently, it's like watching magic happen and moments like this are up there with the proudest ones you'll ever feel as a teacher or as a parent.
I have three children: Lucy, my step-daughter is 13, Phoebe, my daughter is 11 and Charlie, my son is 4. We have a dog called Teddy who will be starring in my books in the future.
In summer 2020, I left teaching to be a full-time mum, but I had always dreamt of writing a children's book, so I decided that the time had come to make that dream a reality.
Throughout Lockdown, I had sat at my dining table looking up at a painting on my wall by Brighouse artist Roger Davies. I love his art and how colourful it is. He had been to visit the school where I worked, and the children had loved his work too. I emailed Roger to see if he would be interested in illustrating a children's book. I never expected a response, but one video call later, and I was already writing down the first few lines of The Magical Kite Ride. With over 30 individual paintings, the book is a celebration of Roger's art, a journey past some of our favourite West Yorkshire landmarks, as well as a story that I love reading again and again, and I hope you will too.
Around the same time that I emailed Roger, I had also submitted a short poem to a website that linked authors with illustrators. I got an email from Loren Grosvenor, a designer who was just about to start her career as a freelance illustrator. We got chatting and realised that we were both starting new chapters in our lives - we instantly 'clicked'. During the summer, Loren rescued an exhausted bumblebee, whom she named Dave. Loren drew an illustration of Dave and asked if I would write a story about him. My step-daughter, Lucy, had always been scared of bees until she realised how important they were. I decided to write a story that would be both entertaining and educational. When Mr Bumble Came to Stay became a combination of fiction and non-fiction: a heartwarming story that encourages children to use their imaginations but also ends with an important lesson about why we should look after bees.
I felt that it was vital to educate children about the creatures that are sometimes feared but do amazing things. Having a husband that is terrified of spiders made that my natural choice for book two in a series we have named 'Mini Beasts Who Help Us'.
My aim is to write books that children and adults can enjoy together. My husband, Mark, insists that every book needs a funny moment, so if you read one of my books and laugh, you can thank Mark. If you don't laugh, I blame Mark! My mum enjoys a book that gives her 'happy tears', so there's usually a heartwarming moment too. My dad read a bedtime story to my brother and me every night when we were young and often took us to our local library. He now loves reading to his grandchildren, and he is looking forward to reading my books to them.
I hope that whatever type of book you enjoy that you read as broad a variety as you can to the children in your life. There is no greater gift than a book.
Sophie Edgar, May 2021
About My Illustrators
Loren has been illustrating since she was a child and has been drawing and designing professionally for seven years. She designs greetings cards and has also had her designs included on Disney homeware.
Loren loves animals and if she can save them, she will. In summer 2020 she found Dave, a buff-tailed bumblebee, who was unable to fly. Loren looked after Dave for five weeks. He was the inspiration behind When Mr Bumble Came to Stay. Loren and Sophie are looking forward to creating a lot more books together.
To find about more about Loren and Dave visit:
Instagram: dave_the_bumble_bee & @blue.kiwi.design
Roger Davies is an artist, musician and singer/songwriter. A proud Yorkshireman, he paints and writes music with a local theme. With his band, he has enjoyed many sell-out concerts. As an artist, he has been on television in the BBC’s Home Is Where The Art Is, creating the winning commission piece for a young family. His paintings are eye-catching, colourful and bring a real sense of ‘home’ to your walls.
To find out more about Roger, find him at:
Twitter: Roger Davies Art