Getting a new book published is very much like welcoming a newborn baby. A sense of wonder and tremulous pride accompany both occasions: is this really my baby?

The publication of my second picture book with Frances Lincoln, ‘Going to Mecca’, is mixed with another set of emotions: nostalgia and longing.

Nostalgia because I remember vividly where I was when I first wrote the prose poem that ended up in the pages of a children’s book: it was over five years ago, when a dear friend of mine had come back from the Hajj. She loved it and said that it accurately depicted the sights, sounds and emotions of the pilgrimage. Back then the piece was entitled ‘Walk with a Pilgrim’.

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