07 Dec 2023

‘Empowering our children’ the message as Carleton House Preparatory School mascot features in second Christmas children’s book

Carleton House Preparatory School will this week celebrate the launch of a second children’s Christmas book featuring their own school mascot, Carleton Mouse.

Carleton House is a Catholic preparatory school in Liverpool, established by a group of parents in the 1970s. With a school motto of ‘they can because they think they can’, it is a place of growth, discovery and celebration.

Thursday 8 December marks the launch of ‘Carleton and the Christmas Grump’. The second in a series dedicated to school mascot Carleton Mouse and ‘empowering our children’, the collection is themed around overcoming obstacles and becoming stronger and more confident in navigating childhood.

It is actually a collaboration between two of the Merseyside school’s parents. Author Helen Yoxall Burns teams up with illustrator Jared Burki once more after the success of last year’s debut book, ‘Carleton’s Motto Saves the Grotto’.

Get a taste for ‘Carleton and the Christmas Grump’ with the blurb below:

A mouse labelled ‘Quiet’ is rejected by Santa’s elves for being too LOUD!

When Carleton Mouse is banished from Santa’s Workshop, he discovers a terrible secret - the Christmas Grump is hatching a plan to ruin Christmas!

Join Carleton and the toys as they discover they’re not just one trait, skill, or quirk. But can they get their plan to work?

Helen Yoxall Burns loved the ‘impact’ the first book made on children so much that Carleton Mouse returns with a 2023 Christmas adventure:

“I was honoured to be asked to pay homage to the school mascot last year through a heart-warming Christmas tale.

“The entire process was a pinch-me moment. Hearing how Carleton Mouse and his determination impacted on little readers and their grown-up was more than I ever imagined, so I decided to write a second book themed around empowerment again.”

Helen aligned the series to the Carleton House motto of ‘they can because they think they can’, championing self-belief:

“Last year’s book was themed around self-belief of the school motto – ‘They Can Because They Think They Can’, and this year – without any spoilers – Carleton is back in a prequel with a special message about not labelling ourselves. That is all I can say!”

Illustrator Jared Burki added:

 “As a doctor, I am blessed to be able to assist people in their time of need. With my art, I hope to inspire young minds as they explore and experience worlds of wonder.”

Helen reflected on the message that the series sends:

“Carleton Mouse is a determined mouse with the power to overcome obstacles with self-belief and ambition. To me, empowering children following the last couple of turbulent years is more important than ever. Carleton shows his readers how his voice matters, and if that’s the take-home message this Christmas, then that’s the best gift to me!”

The latest release is available here. The first part to the series, ‘Carleton’s Motto Saves the Grotto’ can also be found online.