SEN Children's Book Series:Dexter, the School Dog

by Lucy Plunkett in Warwick, Warwickshire, United Kingdom


£20,000 target 11 days left
9% 52 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 19th August 2022 at 5:44pm

This NEW picture book series gently introduces SEN & the benefits of having a school dog for supporting the neuro-diverse community

by Lucy Plunkett in Warwick, Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Hi, I'm Lucy. I spent 15 happy years as a Teacher and SENCO, before moving on to become a Specialist Advisory Teacher for Speech, Language, Communication and Autism needs.  


I’m passionate about neuro-diversity and inclusivity, as well as raising awareness and supporting the wellbeing of children with additional needs.

This is particularly close to my heart as my eldest daughter is autistic. I started writing stories when I couldn’t find any books to support her or my SEN pupils. 


And then, our newest addition, Pippa the Cavapoo, became my husband’s 'school dog', which she and the children both LOVE.


In my job, I’m often asked to recommend resources to support children with an aspect of their needs or to raise awareness.  I'd spend hours of my free time researching texts that could help my pupils to experience that feeling of ‘coming home’ when you meet relatable characters that really resonate.  There were some wonderful stories, but I found that many of my pupils needed a more subtle approach to help them understand their amazing strengths and challenges in daily life.   

When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I wrote my own 'gently relatable', inclusive stories with diverse characters. Animal characters are a great way to support open discussions and so I wrote my stories with a dog ( called Pippa, then Theo and now Dexter) as the main protagonist.  


With the help of inclusive publisher Owlet Press, we've found a great illustrator, Sian Bowman, to help us create a series of 3 inclusive picture books that introduce readers to Dexter on his first day at school, on the school trip and at the school play. All of these scenarios can affect children in different ways, but Dexter has a way of naturally helping all the diverse children he meets.


We have a £20,000 target, which feels BIG, but there is a LOT to cover when publishing a series of 3 books, and EVERY pledge helps us get closer and even if partially reaching our target gets us our first book, it will make a huge difference  - our funding will be spent as shown here:


If we only raise a proportion of our funding budget, then we will provide book pledgers with either the first book of the series, or the first and second, depending on how much we raise.  For example, if you pledge to receive all 3 books, and we only raise enough funds for 1 book, we will offer you either 3 copies of the first book, or supplement your pledge with two other inclusive children's books from Owlet Press. But we ARE hoping to reach our target and  aiming for the full series to be completed by Spring 2023, as it take around 3 months to illustrate each book! 

Every time I’ve shared the stories with pupils and schools, they've inspired such positive feedback (very often pupils comment, ‘That’s just like me!’).

With your help, I hope to realise my dream in publishing my stories so that they can help SEN children, their families and schools in a wider capacity, raise awareness in neuro-diversity, make a positive difference at home and in the classroom and be a source of pure joy.  

Thank you!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£15 or more

Pledge and receive the three book series - signed!

A £15 pledge will mean you are one of the first to own this important inclusive picture book series, signed by the author!

£10 or more

5 of 250 claimed

Pledge and receive a signed dexter print

A £10 pledge receives beautiful A4 print of Dexter the dog, signed by illustrator, Sian Bowan.

£25 or more

Receive all 3 books and signed print

A £25 pledge gets you all 3 books signed by the author and the super cute print, signed by the illustrator.

£50 or more

3 of 18 claimed

£50 to name a character

A very special pledge, to name a child in the book after someone special. You will also receive the book that features your child's name, with a personal dedication from the author.

£100 or more

Virtual author (and Dog) visit

Book a 45 min VIRTUAL author visit with Lucy and her therapy dog, Pippa in 2023! She'll read one or two of the books and have an in-depth Q&A with your children about the importance of neurodiversity, writing books, being published and how dogs can help therapeutically. You'll also get all 3 books for your school library!

£250 or more

Lucy and her dog Pippa will visit your school

Book a half day author visit with Lucy and her therapy dog, Pippa in 2023! She'll come to your school, read one or two of the books and have an in-depth Q&A with your children in the class or assembly, plus children will be able to meet a real-life, qualified therapy dog. We'll provide some worksheets about inclusion to work through in class, plus you'll also get all 3 books for your school library!

£10,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Corporate pledge

Would you like to drive awareness of your business to thousands of families across the country? We will give you a special thanks and feature your logo in the inside cover of our incredible books plus we will donate 250 books to a primary school of your choice, so you'll likely be giving a book to every child in that school. Great for any business looking to engage families, grow awareness or invest in something measurable for CSR or ESG

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