All About Mark Lemon
Mark was inspired to write children’s books when he became a father of two mixed race children from Cambridge, now living in Bristol: Otis (5yrs) and Thea (2yrs).
While Otis and Thea loved all the classics, my wife and I couldn’t help but wonder if there were any books out there with characters that looked like our own children. Disillusioned by the lack of diverse characters in children’s literature, I took matters into my own hands and started penning our books during my daily commute to my previous job in Cardiff. Fast-forward a few months and I have committed to writing full time. I launched our own publishing company, Lemon Drop Books and now, a year on we have published our fourth book: Thea Lemon and her Super Sporty Fairy Godmother.
Our books are currently stocked at Waterstones Bristol/online, Foyles Bristol/online, Amazon, a large number of independent retailers across the UK, plus our own website. Our titles have sold out on various occasions since first being stocked at the Bristol branch; we have also carried out reading events at Waterstones and Foyles, proving successful. We have sold over 1,000 books through our website and wholesalers. I have carried out BBC radio interviews to promote Lemon Drop Books, giving us fantastic exposure and highlighting the lack of diverse children’s characters in modern literature.
More recently, our titles have been enjoyed by HRH The Royal Duchess of Cornwall and her grandchildren. We have provided books to Bristol children’s hospital and Great Ormond Street hospital, local libraries and worked closely with a number of primary schools having created the schemes of work to go with every book. I am now a patron of reading at Air Balloon Primary School in Bristol, promoting reading for fun & literacy with the students and their parents/guardians. In 2017, I am also working the Bristol Mayor – Marvin Rees as an ambassador of the Bristol Learning City project, engaging with local schools & communities.
Mark’s School Visits
With each school visit, Lemon Drop Books offers school assembly readings and workshops for key stages 1, 2, 3 and 4. Working alongside each book are schemes of work linked to the national curriculum. The schemes of work have been introduced to bring an interactive and collaborative session with the children, and teachers. As an example, a workshop for two year 3 classes will last for up to 40mins-1hr. With an entire day visit, we can fit in 4 sessions of up to 40mins to 1hr, plus an assembly reading/Q&A at either the beginning or end of the day.
- 9am assembly reading/Q&A session
- 9:30am workshop 1 (approx 40mins-1hr)
- 10:30am workshop 2 (approx. 40mins-1hr)
- Break for lunch
- 1pm workshop 3 (approx. 40mins-1hr)
- 2pm workshop 4 (approx. 40mins-1hr)
- 3pm book signing or assembly (depending on structure of the schools day)
Regarding equipment needed during my visits, we would only require access to the printer for photocopies for the workshops, plus colouring pens and pencils. I have my own projector, which I can bring on the day.
MARK LEMON’S DEBUT BOOK, OTIS LEMON & THE SPECTACULAR SUBMARINE WINS PLATINUM JUNIOR DESIGN AWARD 2016
LONDON, July 29th 2016
The debut children’s book from dad-author Mark Lemon, Otis Lemon & The Spectacular Submarine, has just been awarded the Platinum Junior Design Award 2016 in the Children’s book of the year (with words) (within last 12 months) category. The awards, organised by Junior Magazine, recognise the finest modern toys and books.
The Platinum Award is the highest accolade possible and is reserved for those products that go above and beyond the high judging standards and showcase immaculate design.
Disillusioned with the lack of diversity in children’s books, Mark (with two mixed-race children of his own) decided to create a series of exciting story books with non-white characters. With thrilling tales and beautiful adventures, the Otis & Thea Lemon series is fast becoming a firm favourite in family households.
Otis Lemon and the Magic Scooter
Join Otis Lemon on his latest adventure of magic and intrigue. Buddying up with his favourite uncle, Professor Poopy and armed with a magic scooter, Otis journey takes him to London…and what a journey it is!
“What’s not to love? There’s a magical scooter and a proper storyline; I was as enthralled as my daughter. This is essential bedtime reading that won’t have parents trying to skip pages. Nice work Mark. Bring on the next.”
Thea Lemon and her Super Sweet Fairy Godmother
Thea Lemon and her Super Sporty Fairy Godmother
Mark Lemon returns with the latest children’s story in his series: Thea Lemon & her Super Sporty Godmother. Set in a spectacularly snowy wonderland, Mark’s latest story is the perfect stocking filler this Christmas. Another magical tale unfolds as Thea takes on the world skiing champion in this beautifully designed book that kids (and parents) will love
The Magical Wood
This is a story about loss, friendship and hope. The Magical Wood is set in a beautiful wood with a river wandering through. One cold and stormy day, the wind blew a terrible gale. The next day the tree family woke to find that Strongest Tree had fallen to the woodland floor and had sadly died. How would the tree family survive the seasons without the strength of Strongest Tree? Throughout each season the tree family are visited by a new animal, offering advice and support to the trees.
This picture book was released to raise awareness and insight into childhood bereavement, and raise funds for children’s bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish. Winston’s Wish was set up in 1992 to meet the needs of bereaved children, young people and their families. Since then, the charity has helped many thousands of children begin to live with their loss www.winstonswish.org Mark is donating proceeds from every copy sold to Winston’s Wish.
Recommendations & Reviews
“Otis Lemon Rocks! We love the Otis Lemon books in our house. Professor Poopy is obviously a real winner and we can’t through a day without having to read it at least twice. Well done Mark Lemon for creating these…can’t wait” (By Cat Sims)
“Fantastic, beautiful, funny story by Mark Lemon. We have all 3 of his books and my daughters 7 and 4yrs, plus my 3 year old nephew loves listening to them. A must have for every child. (By Samantha Jane)
“What’s not to love? There’s a magical scooter and a proper storyline; I was as enthralled as my daughter. This is essential bedtime reading that won’t have parents trying to skip pages. Nice work Mark. Bring on the next.” (By Anna Whitehouse, Mother Pukka)
“Finally a book that reflects not only my family, but the wonderfully colourful diversity of the world we live in. There is a really lovely mix of reality and fantasy in these books. The characters and story line are exciting and interesting to both kids and parents, and the length of the book (really important) is just about perfect, you can tell the author is a dad himself. I can imagine that he wrote exactly the kind of books he always wanted to read to his kids.” (By Natalie Lee, Style Me Sunday)
“I’ve just ordered a book for my niece. My sister, myself and two of my cousins have all created some gorgeous mixed race children and I can’t wait for my niece to have a book that reflects her world.” (By Nicola Emmett)
“When Mark came to Perry Court the children were spellbound! During his assembly presentation, in which he shared one of his ‘Otis Lemon’ stories, he had the children hooked right from the off! The illustrations are beautiful and the funny and imaginative story had his audience following his every word! Mark was able to interact with the (400) children throughout, keeping them involved and also allowing them to relate to the story too! During his second visit to the school he was kind enough to work with some of our weaker readers. Alongside the Reading Recovery teacher he not only shared his stories but also listened to the children read aswell. Conversations were exciting and supportive, allowing the children to talk about their favourite authors and books.” (By Kate Marsh – Perry Court Primary School)
“The children were captivated by the stories of Otis and Thea and their adventures. Mark retold the stories in such a beautiful way that engaged all of the children in the room from 4 to 11 year olds. It was also great to hear how Mark came up with the idea of writing the stories and he was an inspiration to children who want to be authors when they are older.” (By Carla Webb – Oasis Academy New Oak)
“The children were thoroughly engaged when Mark visited them in class. They were completely absorbed in his story telling and the characters in the book. It was a fantastic experience and we definitely want to invite Mark back again to work with us at the school.” (By Gareth Jones – Ashton Gate Primary School)
To Make a Booking
To make an enquiry about Mark, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org