If you have a copy of Billy Moffle’s Straight Lines, you might have noticed that it is dedicated to a teacher, Roy Mapplebeck. He was the teacher at primary school who made a difference.
He encouraged my love of reading and storytelling & I remember listening enthralled, to The Hobbit in his class. He was enthusiastic, creative & kind, putting hours into helping us to stage plays & musicals, leading our gym lessons by example – he could turn a very impressive cartwheel – & rummaging with the best of us at the school jumble sales.
Most importantly, he was a teacher who focused on all of us as individuals with our own strengths. He communicated his hopefulness & appreciation of us, & of life. He gave us lots of opportunities to learn & to grow.
Roy has kept in touch with lots of his pupils over the years. When he heard that I was writing the Moffle picture books, he was one of the first to get in touch and offer his encouragement & support.
The Moffle stories show how as children, we learn about ourselves & the world, in relationship with the adults around us. How if we have been hurt, it is the power of caring relationships that help us to heal & to grow. That’s why Billy Moffle is dedicated to Roy, a teacher who has always known the importance of caring & connection.