Updated: Mar 2, 2020
Never afraid to court controversy, Ladybone - the children's imprint of the Threadbone Press - has "taken a bold, brave and imaginative step" [ie "taken the suicidal option" Chilfrome Publisher's Weekly] in launching a major new series in the form of the Dorset Institute for Public Safety's officially endorsed Truth and Reconciliation books. Designed to help "weird relatives, odd neighbours, family friends we call uncles but aren't and general social misfits who live on their own in the strange down-at-heel house at the end of the street" come to terms with the possible consequences of unavoidable encounters with young people, the series will expand to cover all the "children, scenarios and situations" a social misfit - or even a relatively normal adult - may encounter when engaging in the dangerous business of meeting young people.
Over the coming months, the series will expand to include a second book which will cover organisations where unequal-age encounters are likely [the Scouts, the OTC, the Veruca Clinic and the Polo Club]. Book 3 [Visiting Homes Where Young People May Be Lurking: Dos and Don'ts for Avon, Betterware, Vacuum Cleaner and Door-to-Door Salesmen] will try to steer the unwary travelling salesperson through the nightmare thickets of commercial transactions in non-guarded retail environments, whilst Book 4 published, opportunistically, in December will consider the fraught but highly seasonal topic of "Father Christmas's Knee".
Speaking at the launch, DIPS President, Mrs Amanda J Threadbone said she believed the series' bravery would disturb some but bring [unspecified] long-term benefits to others. "If we can help prepare just one adult for an encounter with a younger person, we will consider our efforts well-rewarded", she said. Asked if there was a danger that rather than serving as a warning to vulnerable adults, the series might instead provide a manual for the wicked, Mrs Threadbone said she thought not. “If we thought there was the slightest danger that these books would attract the attention of children, we would have doubled the print run".