Imagine finding a dragon outside your bedroom window? That’s the concept behind this bright and beautiful new picture book by children’s author Anne Stairmand.

Five-year-old Desmond longs to have a pet dragon of his own. It seems like an impossible dream – dragons aren’t real, as his parents remind him. That is… until he finds one hiding in his garden.

From the very beginning, I couldn’t help falling in love with this book. Not only is it funny and full of adventure, Desmond’s Dragon can also be used to help kids build their social communication skills.

Let me explain…

Children learn how to interact with others by using a combination of language and thought, which includes things like having appropriate conversations, showing empathy and respecting others.

Desmond's Dragon by Anne Stairmand

Desmond’s dragon is a little bit naughty and that’s a good thing! Stories where a character sometimes misbehaves give us the perfect opportunity to have really interesting conversations with our children about what is and isn’t appropriate. For example, I asked my daughter, “Why do you think the dragon keeps causing mischief?” and “What does Desmond do to help the dragon calm down?” It’s a great way to lead a creative chat about behaviour and the interaction between the two main characters.

Desmond's Dragon by Anne Stairmand

As well as being a fun and engaging read, this story also has the added bonus on being written by a local self-published author who’s regularly involved with the local community – from festivals to nursery visits.

How to become a self-published author

After an extensive career in education, Anne Stairmand, who lives on the Suffolk/Essex border, decided it was time to follow another of her passions. For the last 6 years, she has been writing children’s books as an independent, self-published author, and has five books to date, with a sixth one out later this year.

“When I meet people they always ask me about self-publishing,” Anne told us,” so I thought I’d share my thoughts and reasons with my new readers on Essex Baby.”

If you want to learn more about what it takes to publish your own children’s book, check out our Q&A with Anne to find out what you need to think about before you begin. You can learn about how much work goes into creating a book, as well as tops tips to make sure your creation is a success!

How to become a self-published children’s author

Desmond's Dragon by Anne Stairmand

Check out Anne Stairmand’s other fantastic children’s books

As well as Desmond’s Dragon, she has also published several books for older children aged up to 9-11 years, including Archie Dingletrotter’s Flying Caravan which tells the story of a travelling family and their very special caravan; The Phantom Sock Snatcher about a boy discovers the incredible secret behind his disappearing socks; Petronella Pumpernickel-Pinkstocking-Berck and Big Wart about a tractor-riding girl who’s used to getting her own way until an unusual new boy arrives at school; and The Idiot Family at Home, a satirical story about a family who are far too rich for their own good.

For more information and to buy Anne’s books visit: www.annestairmand.co.uk