Book Release: The Modest Tortoise & the Horrible Hare

For almost 3000 years, Aesop’s ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’ has epitomized the importance of understanding that, no matter one’s starting block in life, great things are never unachievable. It is a message that transposes perfectly into the world of a modern child with the societal pressure to be “perfect”. It is the fierce bullying epidemic and demands that make many youngsters today feel that they are simply not enough.

Having worked with thousands of young children as a counsellor and hypnotherapist, John Mill knows that every child is perfect just the way they are and, if they believe in themselves, there is nothing they cannot emerge victorious from. In a wholly unique new project, Mill has taken Aesop’s fable and adapted it into a life-changing children’s book. With a compelling new spin on Aesop’s timeless fable, Mill’s new book helps modern children combat low self-esteem and self-worth.

About The Modest Tortoise & the Horrible Hare:

A colourful, heart-warming tale based on the classic fable in a modern day school setting. We follow the story of Modest Tortoise, who feels different from the other children at school. He is shorter, his skin a different colour and he has a hard shell for a coat that he can’t take off even in summer. He is every one of us at our most vulnerable, thinking we are not enough. Horrible Hare is the cool kid in school, the one we all wanted to be, but he is devious, manipulative and ultimately a bully. The book touches on bullying, self-esteem and confidence and the last pages are filled with open therapeutic questions so that a parent, grandparent or teacher can explore with the child how the story made them feel and whether any parts of the story touched them based on their lives. We are all born perfect with great self-value and confidence but school life, cynical adults and early messages we are told change us and make us question our abilities.

“This book is the complete package. It is a stunningly-illustrated story for children and it includes a message that could potentially change their lives. After the story, I present a series of therapeutic questions that adults can discuss to further explore the story with their children, their lives and ultimately guide them through a bold journey of learning to believe in themselves and their abilities.

The problem is that we live in a world where children are taught not to speak out, to accept what society throws at them and still somehow try to find the space to forge their success. As you can imagine, this leaves many children feeling like they’re not enough, evidenced by the hundreds of calls I took during my time at Childline from youngsters at breaking point and face to face in my daily practice. This book is about teaching them that they possess all they need to be great and that their voice is as important to the world as anyone else’s. With the story and its follow-up questions working together, I firmly believe this book can mould any child into a person that is brimming with confidence and ready to take on the world with gusto.” – John Mill

The Modest Tortoise and the Horrible Hare: Homework, Bullies and the Secret to School Survival’, from Matador, is available now.

About the Author:

John is a passionate hypnotherapist and counsellor who worked for three years in Harley St. He now runs a busy practice in Surrey. In the early days, John trained in telephone counselling children at Childline’s London office. During his weekly voluntary shift, he counselled over 400 children. These children often discussed bullying, as well as other problems. A few calls during this time involved children who needed to be talked out of hurting themselves and, in some cases, suicide. These calls struck a chord with John. He later trained for three years at a university studying hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and counselling. He has since helped thousands of clients make empowering life changes. John also has written five other children’s books covering bereavement, being disabled, sibling rivalry and more.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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