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Pep, Polish & Paint

By Helena Harper

ISBN 978-09570530-1-4 (Hard cover)
ISBN 978-09570530-0-7 (Paperback)
PRICE: £9.99 / £7.99


Have you ever felt miserable and depressed? Lacking in self-belief and sorry for yourself? Then you will understand how Sammy the sun feels at the beginning of this story. He is feeling really depressed and sorry for himself, because he's lost his shine and doesn't know how to get it back.

Three spaceships - Jimmy, Jenny and Johnny - see the miserable looking sun. They ask him why he looks so sad. Sammy tells them why he's sad and each spaceship recommends a different solution to his problem. As the spaceships argue, something totally unexpected happens and Sammy learns a useful lesson: you have to take responsibility for yourself and that starts with taking some action. For Sammy that means making a decision and saying one word, "STOP!" Sammy shows us that with action and self-belief, we can find the power that lies within us all to achieve the goals we wish to achieve.

A wonderfully imaginative space adventure that is sure to appeal to all those who are young at heart.

Inspiration behind the story

Helena says: "The inspiration for Pep, Polish & Paint came one starry night as I was walking home from work. I looked up at the stars in the night sky and imagined what would happen if one of those stars just went out. Who or what would be around in space to help a star that had lost its shine? Spaceships, of course! And so the story was born. That was 15 years ago. Since then, I have time and again thought of Sammy and have drawn inspiration from him and his decision to take action in order to transform the story from a collection of handwritten lines into a fully illustrated, published book and make my goal a reality.

Children may think, perhaps, that there is little they can do in a world of adults. But that is far from the case. There are numerous stories about children making a difference because they made a decision and took some action - which is what we all need to do if we wish to take responsibility for our lives. My hope is that those who read this story, whether young or old, will be inspired to take some action to realise a goal that is close to their hearts. And perhaps - when they in future look up at the night sky - they'll think of Sammy the sun and how making a decision and taking action changed the course of his life."

About the author

Helena Harper was born in Surrey, England, daughter of a German mother and English father, who met in Hamburg at the end of World War II. After graduating in German and International Relations, Helena spent two years in banking before deciding to train as a teacher. She has always loved to write children's picture books, and in the past few years has also discovered the joys of writing poetry for adults.

Pep, Polish and Paint is Helena's first children's picture book and is preceded by two collections of stories in verse, drawn from her professional experiences (It's a Teacher's Life...!) and family situation (Family & More - Enemies or Friends?). To find out more about Helena, go to her website

Pep, Polish & Paint by Helena Harper
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Pep, Polish & Paint by Helena Harper