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Guest Blog from Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry

The Tindims books & authors

The Tindims is a lovely illustrated series with an ecological message, for ages 5+.

Written and illustrated by mother-daughter duo Sally Gardener and Lydia Corry, the sweet stories and gorgeous black-and-white illustrations are perfect for emerging or reluctant readers.

The tiny Tindims live on Rubbish Island where they turn our everyday rubbish into treasure. Their coastal adventures saving the planet will inspire young readers to discover inventive ways to reduce, re-use and recycle and protect our environment.

Read on to find out more about the series from the creators themselves - Sally Gardner and Lydia Corry - in their guest blog.

You can also download some free Tindims classroom resources here.

Toppsta
2021-06-01
Guest Blog from Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry
Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry

SALLY GARDNER ON HER INSPIRATION FOR THE TINDIMS

The Tindims was an idea that my daughter, Lydia, and I came up with. We had moved to Hastings about two years earlier and were very aware of all the rubbish washed up on the beach. The thing that struck me as ridiculous was quite how many plastic water bottles there were. What are we doing putting water into bottles that end up floating around in the sea? Fishes and baby turtles die in them. 

We wanted to write about recycling and conservation for children but feel strongly that we mustn’t weight innocent children down. This is not their fault, it’s our problem and I don't want children to go to bed worried sick about the planet they live on. They have quite enough to worry about without me adding to the list. 

Lydia and I wanted to find a way of empowering children to think about the planet, to encourage conservationists and budding eco-warriors with a good story and fabulous illustrations. We didn’t want to give them a moralist story. Some books hang guilt on the younger generation, but when children smell morals in books, they close off. What they need is to have a giggle while reading and perhaps by chance the longs legs (adults) might also think about the rubbish they throw away. 

Hopefully The Tindims might also make grown-ups more aware of endless plastic bits and pieces that they buy for their children. Parents do have some agency to say “enough is enough.”

Lydia and I printed the Tindims in dyslexic font. What has been interesting is that lots of people have said they find the dyslexic font easier to read and gentler on the eye. I would like to see every book published for children this way and words given the space needed for a reluctant reader to take them in. When I write for small people, I make sure the words I use are the ones I can spell. Which, in all honesty, limits things quite nicely. My language might be simple, but I want the child to have an interesting story so I keep sentences short and keep the story moving.

I am very lucky to have an exceptionally talented daughter and maybe most mothers think their daughters are exceptionally talented but in this case, I will say no more for I think her work says it all for her. I am lucky to have a very good relationship with all my children and it was an absolute pleasure working on this project with Lydia. I feel immensely proud of what she has been able to achieve. 

Toppsta
2021-06-01
Guest Blog from Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry

LYDIA CORRY ON HER INSPIRATION FOR THE TINDIMS

The idea for THE TINDIMS series started with a conversation mum [Sally Gardner] and I had when we were walking along the beach, close to where we both now live. We started imagining a floating island made completely of rubbish, then we imagined who might live there and the Tindims were born. 

My five-year-old daughter is fascinated by the sea and, like most children, she is very aware of the problem of rubbish in the oceans. Sally and I felt that the Tindims would hugely appeal to her, especially if they had lots and lots of adventures, as well as delivering their messages of conservation.

Before Sally really started work on the stories, we spent a lot of time developing the characters. Sally came up with the characters’ amazing names and I made sketches. I first concentrated on shapes and silhouettes to try and make sure each character was distinguishable. Then I made more detailed pencil sketches. The names stuck but the characters went through many versions before I got them right.

 Once Sally had finished the text we worked closely together going through the manuscript and plotting out the layouts. As these stories are early reading books it felt very important that the illustrations should help propel the story. We wanted it to feel very illustrated, dynamic and fun to look at; with pictures on every page, there are even some spreads in the book that have no text at all. 

Working with my mother on this series was such a collaborative process and very different from anything else I’ve done before. We spent such a long time imagining the Tindims that their world has really become part of our lives.  One of the nicest things about making this series is now I can read them to my daughter, and she loves them as much as we knew she would!

Toppsta
2021-06-01
Guest Blog from Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry

The fourth and final book in the series, THE TINDIMS AND THE FLOATING MOON publishes in June 2021.

Here's what our reviewers are saying about the series:

"This book is all about tiny people called Tindims who live on an island that they have made from human rubbish. Thank you Sally Gardner and Lydia Corry for making me think about all the different ways I can help the Tindims to help the whole world" LittleJ, aged 7

"It's a fabulous story to introduce chapter books to children and my daughter has enjoyed counting each chapter and became even more excited to reach the next. There's a fantastic message than underpins this story and I certainly will be ordering the others in the series. I now plan to make our own Tindims together just like it suggests at the end of the story." Zog

"I liked the book so much l read it as my school book. I was excited to finish the book... I would definitely recommend my school friends to read it"  Paddington, aged 6

"The story is delightful and the illustrations superb.  A great leap on for us from picture books.  There are jokes, songs and important messages. We really can’t wait to read more of their adventures." Taitataits

Toppsta
2021-06-01
Guest Blog from Sally Gardner & Lydia Corry

31st May 2021

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Featured Book
Something I Said
Something I Said

BOOK OF THE MONTH - From comedian, actor, rapper and screenwriter Ben Bailey Smith comes the biggest middle grade debut of the year – a blazingly funny, big-hearted story about family, friendship and how far one boy will go to get a laugh.

View book
Featured Books