‘How to Not Go to School: Parsley Mimblewood Saves the World!’, is a story book originally written by primary school teacher, Mike Forde, to help his year 3/4 class in North Yorkshire deal with school shutdown. It has now been downloaded over 50,000 times, shared by hundreds of schools with children and parents and even translated into Italian. After sharing the story on Facebook, Mike connected first with Sarah Beswick, an early fan and art hobbyist, and then professional illustrator Rebecca Sampson who collaborated to create the illustrations for the story book, now free to download online.
The story follows the adventures of Parsley Mimblewood, a girl living in the remote part of the Yorkshire Dales, who has only ever been homeschooled. She has now written a manual to advise other children who now find themselves not going to school for the first time. The book is aimed at 7-11 year olds and deals with isolation, loneliness and frustration in a fun, light-hearted way.
Mike said, “I’m overwhelmed and humbled to see how far this little book has gone. I wanted to give the 28 children in my class a fun story that would help them come to terms with this huge upheaval and now thousands of families are reading about Parsley Mimblewood and her adventures. I’m so grateful to all the people who have read, shared and helped make this happen.”