Balloon artist Melanie Howard – who wrote and released her first children’s book during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown – is now celebrating her second book scooping Amazon’s coveted number 1 spot in the US for newly released children’s books.
Melanie, who runs UK business Balloon Artworks, has now published three books in the ongoing Quince Cottonball series, which are illustrated using photographs of balloon animals.
‘This is the first series of books ever to be published and illustrated using photographs of balloon animals,” said Melanie. “A lot of people are surprised by the quality and expressiveness of my balloon animals and I think it’s this, combined with a feel-good story, that readers find appealing.’
Melanie has been surprised that her books have been particularly popular with US readers, saying that: “I’ve tried to combine whimsy, quaintness and a bit of British humour into my stories and, so far, it seems to have hit the mark.”
Melanie published her first book, Quince Cottonball Keeps His Distance, in April to help children understand the importance of social distancing.
‘I expected my first book to be a one-off, but Quince’s character and his life here in Amber Valley took hold in my imagination and I discovered I had more stories to tell. It might not surprise local people to know that my second book, Quince Cottonball Enjoys a Rainy Day, was inspired by our Derbyshire weather!’