The Story Behind The Story

Hello, my name is Jerry Lyons and I wrote Spot the Different.

The illustrations were brilliantly created by the super talented and exceedingly nice Andy Willard.

And just like every tale ever written there’s another yarn that happened before it – so here’s the story behind the story. I know you’re busy, so I’ll tell it in less than two minutes.

The idea for Spot the Different came about from my partner Wendy. She runs confidence courses for kids and wanted to create a puppet which was visually different from what it was ‘supposed’ to look like.

We chatted and came up with the idea of a ladybird which unlike other ladybirds only had one spot.

To cut a long story short this gave me an idea to write a poem based on questions my then six-year-old daughter Charlotte was asking about why people were different in how they looked, what they believed and how they acted.

That proved a tough task to explain to such an inquisitive mind, so I found myself writing a poem using the little ladybird who we called Spot to help answer Charlotte’s questions.

The poem told the story of a young girl called Lucy who was afraid about not fitting in and scared of being different. She meets Spot who introduces her to a crew of very different animals who all have something unique, special and wonderful about them.

Spot shows Lucy how to embrace her own individuality and that of others and ultimately that the coolest person you can ever be is……. yourself.

Charlotte loved the poem, as did Wendy, and that got me thinking that Spot the Different could become a book.

I held the thought for more than a year then in early 2019 I thought ‘sod it’ let’s go for it and publish it as a book.

I had seen some of Andy’s previous illustrations and knew he would be the right person to bring Spot and the other characters in the book to life.

He did a fantastic job and was a delight to work with.

Thanks to Project Spot and the support of small businesses across the country who bought bundles to donate to schools and nurseries our first print run in June 2019 sold out in four weeks.

We’re currently waiting for our second print run which we are aiming to launch in September and it’s fabulous that the book has been so well received by children of all ages.

Thanks for reading and remember to keep moving in the positive.

Jerry