Children’s TV star George Webster has brought out a new disability-focused book for children 

By Caitlin Kirkley and Charlie Dowey

George Webster, 22, author of ‘This is me’. (Photo credit: BBC)

‘This is me’ entered the world of children’s literature this World Book Day, a heartwarming picture book for children which explores a range of diverse characters and identities. 

This is charismatic television presenter George Webster’s debut novel which takes children on a journey of discovery as they come to learn about what makes each character so unique and interesting.

The fun of the story is also accompanied by colourful illustrations from the talented Tim Budgen.

Writer Webster, who was targeted by bullies during school, hopes this book will create a new approach in terms of thinking about learning disabilities. 

George, 22, an ambassador of the Mencap organisation, said: “People with Down’s syndrome have emotions and feelings like every other person. They [don’t] ‘suffer’ from the condition. I have an amazing life.” 

The picture book is the latest work by the BAFTA-winning CBeebies star, a project inspired by a poem that he shared on the CBeebies channel and eventually went viral.

When writing the book, Webster wanted to spread the message of acceptance and inclusivity as well as busting the myths around growing up with disabilities.

Many children have shared their love of the book on World Book Day 2023 by dressing up as some of the characters.  

Publisher Scholastic chose ‘This is me’ as their book of the month for the age 3-4 category for March 2023 and described it as a “genuine and heartfelt” story which “encourages children to celebrate each other’s differences.” 

Leeds-born George has always loved performing arts and joined the team of CBeebies presenters in 2021.

He is very passionate about championing the inclusion and representation of the disabled community across the media. 

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Share spooky stories with DMU Bookstore this Halloween

By Dan Ableson

Creative writing enthusiast are encouraged to show-off their skills in a spooky stand-up event to celebrate Halloween.

The DMU Bookshop, attached to Hugh Aston building on campus, is hosting an open-mic session for all students to showcase themselves and tell their most terrifying tales in front of a live audience.

Branch Manager Katie Parkin said: “We wanted to run an event to coincide with Halloween that would also engage with the students, so we thought an open-mic evening would be the perfect format.

“The Bookshop is a relatively unused space after hours and we wanted to start getting more involved with DMU students and start running more events that they can be a part of.”

The event, which takes place October 30, 6pm-9pm, will also feature local writer Daniel Ribot, who will be there to kick start the evening and promote his new book.

Miss Parkin continued: “One of our staff members is part of a writing group based in Leicester and her friend, Daniel Ribot, had just launched his new vampire inspired novel with their group, so we thought he would be a good speaker to start the night off. It will also showcase him as a writer and anyone else that wants to get their name out into the public eye.

“We are looking for a five-minute reading of their own work, with a brief explanation on what their piece is about, their inspiration, and why they chose that genre. We don’t really have any pre-conceived ideas, we just want funny and spooky stories to tell.”

This is the first time that the Bookshop has organised an event of this nature. In the past it has worked closely with university schemes such as Cultural Exchanges and book launches for local writers. It has come in time for the expansion of the shop’s fiction and popular non-fiction sections, as they try to attract people from all over the city to buy, not just students.

For further information on how to get involved, speak to a member of staff, or contact them via Facebook, Twitter or telephone.

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