It is undeniable that being a parent is rewarding, but it an also be incredibly challenging. Despite increasing conversations around mental health, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is often misunderstood, particularly in children. OCD sufferers have obsessive thoughts, leading to compulsive rituals and behaviours, with around 1.2% of the UK population experiencing the condition. Cardiff based author Julie Derrick is determined to raise awareness and push for early identification of the condition in children through her new children’s book, Hank the Hungry Monster.

Julie’s dedication to raising awareness of the triggers of OCD comes from her own experiences caring for her daughter who developed the condition in her early teens. She has since been raising awareness through her blog, YouTube channel and Facebook page and has now created Hank The Hungry Monster to help children and adults better understand OCD. Hank The Hungry Monster is the first book to be released under the new children’s imprint from Panoma Press, Panocub.

Within the story Hank is a very hungry monster, hungry for power. Meanwhile, Annabelle is a bubbly little girl who loves to play with her friends. One day Hank finds a new home in Annabelle’s head after he notices she felt uncomfortable when a ‘friend’ points out the sunburn on her nose. Hank begins introducing rituals to convince her to safeguard herself from this ever happening again.

Luckily, Annabelle’s teacher sees her carrying out these rituals and helps her to stop these voices in her head. She encourages her to speak up to them by refusing to continue with these obsessive rituals.

Julie will be donating half of the proceeds of book sales to CITT, a specialist branch of CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) who provided essential support to her daughter and their family.

Hank The Hungry Monster is the perfect read for children and parents seeking to understand the effects of OCD, recognise the traits and triggers and encourage healthy discussion of the condition.