Please help me to print hardback copies of my children's book about a boy with learning disabilities and his dog, who save the world through their superpower of love. I aim to donate at least 5% of books printed to families, children’s charities and organisations at no cost.
My name's Robert Martin and I have long dreamed of creating a book for children.
And now it's finished!
Joe and Dusty Save The World is inspired by my experiences around disability and by the amount of love my dog brings to my life every day. I grew up with a disabled sister. I'm married to someone who is disabled. I also work with DaDaFest - a fantastic Disability and Deaf Arts organisation. Disability is a big part of my life and I want children to see it as just another way in which we are all different from each other.
And as for my dog, I love her to bits. This is the REAL Dusty!
Joe and Dusty Save The World sees a little boy with learning disabilities, Joe, and his best friend / carer dog, Dusty, having to teach clever but emotionless aliens about fun, joy and love in order to stop them from blowing up the world. Joe and Dusty have a wonderful and loving bond which fills the story with warmth and humour.
But what sets it apart from other books that deal with differently abled children is that the story does not focus on Joe’s disability but on his strengths, his kindness and infectious joy and how, by being true to yourself and by having an open, loving heart, you can achieve great things.
It's a 10 chapter book written in verse, beautifully illustrated by Margit van der Zwan , and is funny, exciting, a little bit scary, sad and hopeful.
Paperback and e-versions will be available on Amazon. But I would really love to have hardback, physical copies printed, and this is where I need your help. I want to print copies so that I can send them to schools and organisations, charities and festivals that all seek to promote positivity around differently abled people, and aim to bring differently abled children into storytelling. The more I can raise the more I can get printed to help spread the joy of Joe and Dusty’s adventure far and wide. My aim is to donate between 5 and 10% of books printed at no cost to families, children’s charities and organisations.
Joe and Dusty Save The World is the first of what I hope will be a series of books about the adventures of this little boy and his dog.
Can you help me?
Donations of £5+ will get a Joe and Dusty badge
Donations of £10+ will get a signed thank you illustrated postcard and badges
Donations of £25+ will get a signed copy of the book, plus thank you card and badges
Donations of £50+ will get badges, a signed postcard, a signed copy of the hardback book and your name listed in thank yous on the Joe and Dusty website
Donations of £100+ will get a badge, signed postcard, a signed copy of the hardback book and your name listed in thank yous on the Joe and Dusty website and in the book itself
Donations of £250+ get the aforementioned and a PA from the author, or personalised video, reading from the book
Sample verses and illustrations.
From Chapter 1
It’s all about a boy named Joe
And Dusty, his best friend.
The love between this boy and dog
Would never, ever end.
For they were close as close can be,
Their friendship knew no bounds.
Joe knew that he was lucky to have
Met the best of hounds.
You see, she wasn’t just a pet,
She often helped with things,
When Joe was anxious, sad or cross,
Confused or wandering.
Dusty had been trained to act
As Joe’s four-legged helper,
To calm his nerves, to guide the way,
And never be a yelper.
She calmly understood just when
Joe needed extra care -
She’d look at him and start to wag
Her tail in the air.
From Chapter 3
So alien and boy stood staring
And that’s when cheeky Dusty did
A great big massive fart.
It made a noise like when the air
Flies from a balloon,
And suddenly, it’s eggy smell
Entirely filled the room.
Never had the aliens smelt something
But Joe thought Dusty’s trumps were always
Funny and terrific.
From Chapter 6
If Joe was going to save the world
From going in a blast,
He’d have to do it quickly,
Time was ticking fast!
Joe looked down at Dusty
And that gave him a clue,
Maybe playing games with her
Was just the thing to do?
When they played, it filled their hearts
Like they were going to burst,
And Dusty always knew when Joe
Was feeling at his worst.
She could turn his feelings right around
From low to high.
So Joe decided this was something
Worth giving a try.
‘Right’, said Joe, ‘we’ll show you what it
Means to have a laugh.’
‘Excellent’ said Zomroh,
‘Will we need to draw a graph?’
Sample illustrations © 2020 by Margit van der Zwan
- Kathy Morton
- Caitriona Vulliamy
- Andy Gilbert
- Peter Stipetic
- Inga Bleken