IMAGINATION: Author Kellie Byrnes with her debut children's book Cloud Conductor, a book to help children face the challenges of everyday life.
IMAGINATION: Author Kellie Byrnes with her debut children's book Cloud Conductor, a book to help children face the challenges of everyday life. Contributed

Igniting the imagination of children

SUNSHINE Coast children's author Kellie Byrnes has released her debut picture book Cloud Conductor, a story encouraging children to use their imaginations to deal with challenges.

Cloud Conductor is a heartfelt story about a convalescent child who can escape her hardships through daydreaming.

"The idea for Cloud Conductor came into my mind when I was musing about how hard it must be for ill children in hospital, or at home, who suddenly can't run around and play like they normally do,” Ms Byrnes said.

"I thought about how kids might be able to cope and what tools they'd have at their disposal and what could be better than their own imagination?”

Byrnes hopes her picture book will prompt discussions about dealing with illness and other challenging times and help children think about ways to use their creativity to cope with trauma or negative emotions.

"I know from personal experience, plus studies have shown, that creativity improves our mental and physical well-being,” she said.

"In a time where bullying is rife and stressors are everywhere, this is a more important tool than ever for children to have in their mental health toolkit.”

Children's author Kelly Byrnes talks about her new book Cloud Conductor.
Children's author Kelly Byrnes talks about her new book Cloud Conductor. Contributed

The Buderim author has been freelancing for more than five years and this debut book is the first story she wrote.

"Writing a children's book was a a whole other thing,” she said.

"I went to a conference in 2016 and that led to my contract so it all happened very quick.”

Ms Brynes is planning to release another book next year and in the meantime hopes Cloud Conductor will be a great benefit to many.

"I hope parents, teachers, librarians and care givers will be able to use this book to promote mental health of all forms,” she said.

"I want to help people when they feel down.”

A book launch for Cloud Conductor will be held at Sandy Pages Noosa on Tuesday, July 3 at 10am.

The event will include story time, craft activities and book signings.


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