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FATHERHOOD

On 17 April 2011, I became a father for the first time. I was a dad to a baby boy, Otis. To hold your child for the first time is a magical moment, but for me it felt extra special. All of my emotions and heartache had washed away at that moment, and all I felt was love for this baby. I had never really thought about the emotional legacy of my father’s murder until I became a father myself. Since becoming a dad, I have always known that the time will come when I will have to sit down with my children to tell them what happened to Grandpa. Otis has recently been asking questions about where Grandpa is...

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DIVERSITY

As a dad of two dual heritage children, I know how important it is that we continue increasing the visibility of diversity in children’s literature in the UK. In 2016, I published the first children’s story that I wrote for my son, Otis Lemon and the Magic Scooter. Diversity in kids’ literature didn’t even cross my mind until I had my own children, I wanted to inspire them and tell them amazing tales with characters that looked like them. Of the 9,115 children’s books published in 2017, researchers found that only 4% featured BAME characters. Just 1% had a BAME main character, and a quarter of the books submitted only featured diversity in their background casts. This compares to the 32.1%...

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LEMON DROP BOOKS DONATES PROCEEDS TO WINSTON'S WISH

On Friday 26th October the kids and I took a train over to Cheltenham to deliver a cheque for £430 to children’s bereavement charity ‘Winston’s Wish’ for proceeds raised from our children’s bereavement book ‘The Magical Wood’. It’s always fantastic to visit this amazing charity, but this was extra special, as the kids were able to see why this very special book was written. As someone that also suffered grief, trauma and loss at a young age, this cheque is something that I’m hugely proud of (a little teary as I write this). I want to say a very big thank you to everyone that has supported, purchased and championed ‘The Magical Wood’. ‘The Magical Wood’ was written to help children...

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BRONZE AWARD - JUNIOR DESIGN AWARDS 2018

WINNER: BRONZE FOR BEST DESIGNED/ILLUSTRATED BOOK FOR CHILDREN WHO: THE MAGICAL WOOD BY MARK LEMON WHAT: The Magical Wood is a story about loss, friendship and hope. A story to help children suffering from the loss of a parent or loved one and working in collaboration with children’s bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish (where proceeds will be donated)  WHY: Having lost his father at a young age author Mark Lemon has used his own experience of bereavement to create a book that help young readers deal with the stages of grief. The judging notes were glowing with magical praise: Yvadney Davis (a top children's stylist) noted "Such a beautiful way to tackle a difficult subject." Michelle Kennedy (founder of the Peanut parenting app) said "Wonderful" and Little Spree founder Sarah Clark wrote "Lovely book,...

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A LETTER TO MY 12-YEAR-OLD SELF BY MARK LEMON

Dear Mark (12yrs), It’s Monday 11th May 1992. I am writing this letter to let you know that tomorrow your life is going to change forever. Nothing will prepare you for the grief and loss that you’re about to experience, but I want you to know that through this pain, you will go on to experience wonderful moments in your life. On Tuesday 12th May, you are going to wake up, get dressed, and go downstairs for breakfast. Dad will finish his coffee, pick up his briefcase and wave goodbye to you in the doorway. This will be the last time that you will ever see him again. At 3pm your teacher is going to ask you to go home...

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