When Julian’s daughter was diagnosed with DDH and underwent three failed operations and major surgery he decided the family needed something lift Elisa’s spirits and made up a story about a squirrel called Hazel who has an accident and gets a brand new stripy tail.
Julian realised that there were lots of other suffering families who needed moments of joy and hope so he decided to publish the story as The Squirrel’s Tail, vibrantly illustrated by Alex Beeching.
The bright woolly new tail at the end of the story was partly inspired by the brightly coloured casts Elisa had to wear as part of her treatment. But it also represents Julian’s hope that, even if his daughter has a weaker leg and a “dodgy hip”, it will never hold her back in life.
The book, about hurt and recovery, hope, adventure and the special bond between father and daughter, captures the imagination with an important message for children (and their parents) when things go wrong.
Julian says “this story is for my daughter, the bravest and most determined person I know – and to celebrate the resilience and bright, bushy energy that all children have. And I hope that The Squirrel’s Tail book can give other families a moment of joy in their struggles and help parents talk about these difficult issues with their children.”
You can read Julian and Elisa’s story about her treatment and how the family faced these challenges here.
Julian has a special offer for Steps supporters:
£4 from every book sold between 22 and 30 November 2021 will be automatically donated to Steps Worldwide and you will receive a free copy of The Squirrel’s Tail colouring book to keep your little ones amused during cold and rainy winter afternoons.