How One Author is Letting Kids Know it’s Okay Not To Be Okay

Esther reading a Sophie Says book

Hi, my name is Esther and I am the children’s author of the Sophie Says series which is all about making life’s most important lessons fun to learn. I want to help children bypass harmful stereotypes before they set in, by changing the face of children’s literature. My mission is to enable all children to grow up feeling equipped and empowered to face their futures so they can learn more about themselves, others and the world around them. I would like to help parents teach their children positive messages and provide a toolkit to navigate some of the trickier conversations. My stories are FOR everyone, and I do this by trying to SHOW everyone.

Last year I faced a tragic loss. I lost my younger sister to mental illness. Coupled with the global pandemic and the extreme worry parents have about their children’s mental health I wrote the second book in the Sophie Says series ‘It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’. I conducted independent research with families across the UK which showed that 80% of parents are worried about their child’s mental health but only a third of parents actually have any tools, including books in the home, to talk about the subject of mental health. This is often because many parents are worried about saying the wrong thing and potentially making the situation worse. Being a PJ Library Mum, I was really happy when the book ‘Mommy Can You Stop The Rain?’ came through the post as it’s another great example of a book trying to talk to children about feelings. I hope these books that address the importance of mental health in a fun and authentic way help children, parents and teachers talk about this vital topic in a more open and honest way and that the next generation learn how to express their feelings as a natural and positive part of their lives.

We have teamed up with ORT UK, the Jewish News, Beyond and PaJeS for a very special online event on 25 May at 8pm. Claudia Winkleman will be talking to Esther about her personal journey, the importance of breaking down stigmas and teaching the next generation about their mental wellbeing. To join us, please register for free at


Esther is changing the game in the early years children’s book market. Esther gained national media coverage about her books, won numerous awards, speaks publicly and has now left her corporate career as Global Lead of Gender D&I at Unilever to concentrate on making a positive impact on children’s lives through her stories. Esther is mum to two-year-old Asher who is the first and most important critic of Esther’s writing. Follow @sophiesaysofficial on Instagram