24th August 2021 (Original message sent)
10th July 2023 (Updated message)
Dear Sir Richard Branson,
I hope this message finds it’s way to you and that you are well.
I wanted to share our Children’s picture book called ‘I’m a Dyslexic Superhero’. We were hoping (crossing all my fingers and toes!) that you would like to look through it and share your comments with us. It is available on Amazon and locally in Australia. The digital version is linked below for you to flip through.
My 10 year old daughter Kyla (was 7 yrs when we wrote our book) is continually inspired by your words of ‘dreaming big’ and ‘dyslexia is a superpower’ which is how our book began. One of her favourite illustrations in our book is the astronaut page! And not long after we designed it, you flew into space! What a moment. She was so proud of you.
We began the book during Melbourne’s first lockdown in 2020. I wanted a way for her to be able to express her feelings struggling with dyslexia. Our book has, and still makes a positive impact on her so we’ve made it available for the world. We couldn’t find books written from a young child’s perspective on what it feels like to have dyslexia. So we made our own. It has been received really well so far and our aim is to share this with as many schools around the world as we can.
If you would like to share your feedback or would like to email Kyla please contact us by clicking here.
We’d also love to post our book to you. How can we get one to you?
Thank you so much for reading.
Marnie and Kyla Hibbert
Kyla recorded a message for you.
“To Richard Branson, I have dyslexia. My name is Kyla. I am dreaming every night as I have a space book. I am making a book about dyslexia. It is hard for me. I bet it is hard for you too. I live in Australia.” Kyla, age 7.From Kyla
I’m a Dyslexic Superhero
I’m a Dyslexic Superhero is a 42 page full colour children’s book, written from a 7 year olds perspective. This book is honest, uplifting and fun for primary/elementary school kids with or without dyslexia. It’s also kid approved which is especially important for reluctant readers.
Kyla, a grade 1 student, has just been diagnosed with dyslexia which explains why she finds reading and spelling really hard. This book explores how she feels and what helps her.
At the back of this book, there are kids activities designed to suit a dyslexics strengths. They’ll be so engaged they won’t even know they’ll receive a boost of confidence completing them!
Our book has been thoughtfully and technically designed to allow dyslexics the most enjoyable reading experience. All elements were carefully chosen including typeface/font, sizing, text colour, amount of text, sentence length, line length, background colour, picture icons, illustration style, fun games, empowering activities and ‘just-enough’ technical information about dyslexia to educate. I’m sure you’ll find the kids will love it, without even knowing why. Besides, what kid doesn’t like a Superhero?
Who is this book for?
This book is ideal for kids with dyslexia, parents, teachers, therapists, counsellors, psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, libraries, kindergarten programs, language teachers/tutors and many more.
Teachers can use this book as an informative and fun tool by utilising the ‘Thoughtful Questions’ pages. It shares dyslexic struggles and strengths to raise awareness and acceptance of this learning difference all while boosting a child’s self confidence. It’s realistic in that it recognises everyone has different interests and abilities and encourages children to think about what they’re great at. Every classroom needs this book.
You will be proud to have this displayed on your bookshelf, in your therapy clinic, classroom or home. I’m a Dyslexic Superhero is endorsed by the Australian Made Campaign and is licensed to use the Australian Made logo.
Why did we create a book?
It all began during our first Melbourne Covid-19 Lockdown in 2020. A week into remote learning I noticed my 7 year old daughter was truly struggling to read and spell. After numerous appointments, tests and many tears, my daughter was confirmed dyslexic. All that time Kyla struggled. Being unable to read like her friends, getting things wrong repeatedly, forgetting simple things and by taking so long to complete her school work generated a serious negative ripple effect.
So to help her, I decided to write a book about her feelings on this very subject. Kyla shared her feelings about having dyslexia relating them to fun illustrations over a few days working side by side. I was really impressed with her use of metaphors and so began our book.
The change in her emotional wellbeing this far was considerable. We had a Mummy and daughter project allowing lovely time together, she had a ‘voice’ on what it was like being her, and together we learnt many things to help her. This was incredibly empowering. It highlighted her strengths and honoured her challenges. After all these positive changes, the book had worked. Kyla was now happier and embraced her recognisable skills. We put the book aside for a while and didn’t think too much about it until a dyslexic children’s author (who is passionate about inclusive children’s literature) inspired us to get our message out there. We are so grateful for her enthusiasm and belief that we could actually create a book increasing representation of dyslexic characters in children’s books.
Dyslexic children are misunderstood, and given 1 in 5 have dyslexia this was an issue effecting so many children and families. After that, I wholeheartedly jumped into designing our book!
Author Bio | Marnie Hibbert
This is the first book I’ve written. My career has spanned sign writing, graphic design, advertising and currently photography. I naturally seek out the beauty and personality in every child during my portrait sessions, that I see this book as doing the same – only through a book – to many children around the world. My hope that if I’m a Dyslexic Superhero helps even one child to feel good about who they are, then I’ve succeeded.
Co-Author Bio | Kyla Hibbert (I inspired this book and I’m the main character)
This is my first book I’ve helped write. I came up with metaphors, tips and activities you find in this book. I love dancing, cartwheeling, science and want to be a singer when I grow up. I live with my Mum, Dad and little brother Levi. I hope you like reading my book.
Imagine this book in every single primary school in Australia. Imagine the young minds that it would inspire. Imagine a dyslexic child feeling heard and understood. Imagine them knowing they are a part of a prestigious group of humans that have changed the world for the better. Imagine them believing that they are clever and only need a specific teaching style that their brains require to learn to read for them to fly. Imagine school friends understanding dyslexic difficulties. Imagine friends being patient and accepting of dyslexic peers? 1 in 5 people have dyslexia. This means around 4 children in every classroom struggle to read and spell.
We want to start easy conversations in all schools and homes using our book as a tool, so awareness highlights this very common learning disability. Perhaps then, more dyslexic children would be diagnosed earlier and have access to the right support to help them thrive.
Seeing as dyslexia is ‘hidden’, many dyslexic children are anxious and have low self esteem which impacts every part of their life. Lets change this.
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Disclaimer: The purpose of this book is to support young dyslexic children by recognising their talents and to help them feel understood. We, the authors do not claim to be experts in dyslexia. For more information please contact your local dyslexic association.