"I’ve always felt that people with a learning disability were excluded from the world of literature written just for them. Book shops I’ve visited and asked about suitable stories have fobbed me off with children’s books!

"When Edward the carousel horse arrived in our garden in Surrey, all the way from Texas, I was inspired to write a novel about him and his 100-year journey to find a Forever Child of his own – someone who would always love him and speak to him and never grow up and leave him behind.

"I have written other novels, but it was quite tricky to get the tone right. Adults with a learning disability function at so many different levels and yet they are, on the whole, trying to deal with adult lives and issues. They deal with feelings of rejection and of being different to others. Anyway, I tried, with trepidation and sensitivity, to write for my own "Forever Child" who loves Edward dearly and speaks to him regularly."

Angela meets Edward

Listen to a short extract from Edward Pureheart and the Forever Children, narrated by the author Jennifer Munro.

A woman with glasses standing in a garden surrounded by plants, with a colourful wooden carousel horse in front of her
  • Jennifer's daughter Kate with Edward in her sensory garden at home in London

"Uniquely, Edward was made with a heart and that makes him want to love and be loved. When the Texas Lone Star Grand Carousel closes down, he is tossed aside with the other animals and left in the dark of an old barn. He never gives up on his search for love however and finds himself in the midst of many wild and exciting adventures on his journey in search of a Forever Child.

"He does not allow the fact that he is unable to move on his own slow him down. Edward meets many characters, but it is only when he arrives in London that he realises he is home at last, in Kate’s garden with her and all the other Forever Children friends. Never again will he feel lost or lonely, or the odd one out.

From the tippity tip of his elegant nose, to the flippity flip of his beautiful tail, Edward is a very handsome and vain little horse on a mission to spread love and joy to those who understand him. His great experience means that he is ready to dispense wise advice and act as a strong shoulder to cry on.

"Edward is wise, but then he is 100 years old and has travelled far. He tells his Forever Children that it is, in fact, better to be different and good to be themselves.

"The illustrations in the book by Pieter van Tonder are extraordinary – fun, skilful and well-executed. They bring the story and the characters to life with humour and pathos. His deft touch adds so much value to the story!"

A watercolour painted image o a carousel horse and a man kneeling beside it

One of the many illustrations in Edward Pureheart and the Forever Children

"Every one of us, in our hearts, has a hidden Forever Child and will appreciate Edward Pureheart and his view of life. The book is available from our Edward Pureheart website in printed, ebook and audio format. Every sale supports Mencap and research into rare genetic disorders. And to get a 30% discount use the code Mencap190624 during checkout!"