Mary Bea and Strawberries All the Way Home by Tamara Anne Hogan“A charming story about Mary Bea dealing with feelings of anger and frustration as she battles with her mother to eat exactly what she likes . . . in this case, hot, steamy chippies from the drive through on the way home from school!  Mindfulness is introduced as a central theme to this story, which is explored in-depth in the Thinking and Talking time designed for parents and therapists. Kids always adore creating the bonus strawberry smoothie recipe at the end of yarn as well!”


Illustrated and designed by Tadaa Book

Published by Vivid Publishing

20 Pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1921787799 - Amazon


Mary Bea Says WhY is for Yoga by Tamara Anne Hogan“Mary Bea and her favourite friend, Ashley Bobbin, have been playing together all day long. That is, until they start to feel a little bit grouchy and a big bit bored, and begin to pester Ashley Bobbin’s mother with a myriad of ‘But why!?’ questions. Mrs. Bobbin decides to try a little experiment on the children, introducing a medium of yoga with a fun and relaxed style that achieves not only entertaining but therapeutic results.”



Illustrated and designed by Tadaa Book

Published by Vivid Publishing

28 Pages, Paperback, ISBN: 978-1922204066 - Amazon



I wrote first on instinct. Imposed by circumstance, dictated by need, I found myself in a place of ill health, grief, and solitude.

The way I saw it, I had limited options in front of me:

a) Lie down. Give up. Die.

b) Breathe. Eat. Survive.

c) Breathe. Eat. Survive. Practice smiling again.

d) All of option c. Throw in Thrive.

I entertained option a). But unknown grit somewhere inside of me didn’t let a) happen. So I started with option b) Breathe. Eat. Survive. In the mix of the breath, and the nourishment through food, and the daily surviving, I turned to the one thing that came naturally to me. Something I hadn’t let myself enjoy for years.

The written word.

I wrote, I wrote, I wrote. I wrote dark. I wrote real. I wrote sad. I wrote hope. I wrote for days and days and weeks and weeks. I wrote until I was interrupted.

Out of the blue one day, a little endearing character popped, with a meta-literal bounce, into my head. She shouted her name at me. “I am Mary Bea!”

Mary Bea introduced herself while I was eating. I was immersed in a palate-reviving strawberry so divinely blessed with sweet and sugar as to be surely plucked fresh from the fields. The strawberry was a simple pleasure, and one which I gave all my attention to in that moment. It was in that, in the giving of all my attention, that the story came.

Mary Bea’s story came from a place of mindfulness. From a place of survival. From a place of nourishing my body to health with living food & conscious mind. From a place of nursing my essence back. Back to now. I clung to now like my very life depended on it. Mindfulness, quite simply, saved me.

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” — Henry Miller

And so, once I’d begun to practice being present, so too, in slow and clumsy steps, did my life. Until finally, life flowed through me and around me and within me, again. And that, you see, is where my children’s stories come in.

Mary Bea.

Her character, title, purpose, prose . . . all flowed through me most easily and most naturally. Much like, I would imagine, pushing off a rainbow with no other agenda then enjoying iridescent colours & rain fresh fragrance on the way through.

However, I did for a time sold Me. I don’t have time for rainbows and magic. I am writing serious stuff. Bigger words. Darker prose. A heavy novel of weight and momentum. But Mary Bea persisted. She was light, and bright, and vital. She danced on the prisms of my early waking consciousness. She skipped through my cerebral dreams at night. Only on Mary Bea’s insistence, many days later, did I re-read the story she had given me. And what did I find?

I found some theme, some thread, some message. A message that struck my senses like a reverberating chord . . . Wow. If only I’d had this tool as a child. If only I’d been taught these gifts during my youth. If only I’d had a little book just like this one to read.

Maybe I could have saved myself, and my loved ones around me, much pain and much anguish and quite a few grey hairs.

And so I was moved to take Mary Bea further. To find a like minded soul to bring Mary Bea to life with light and colour. To find a publisher who believed in our message. And most of all, I was moved to share Mary Bea with children—those wonder beings of promise and abandon and vitality.


Our most vulnerable and our most supreme.

Children who, if we watch and listen, teach us how to just be every day.

Thank you to Mary Bea’s Team: Illustrator Anil Tortop & Designer Ozan Tortop.



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