Hollis started telling stories when she was a child and basically never stopped. Later, when her own children were little, they insisted that she make up stories for them every night before bed. Together with her lifelong love of children’s books, these spontaneous bedtime stories told in the dark inspired Hollis to start writing children’s books of her own.
She wishes that she could illustrate her own books, but since she peaked as an artist when she was about twelve years old, she’s grateful for the amazing talent of professional illustrators who can bring stories to life in pictures.
Her debut picture book, ‘Hello! A Counting Book of Kindnesses’ (UK) / ‘Counting Kindness – Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children’ (US), is illustrated by Barroux.
International publishers to date include: Charlesbridge (US); Rubinstein (NL); Rue du Monde (France); Walker Books (Australia/New Zealand); Gütersloher Verlagshaus (Germany); Edizioni Clichy (Italy); and Ediciones Castillo / Macmillan Education (Mexico/Latin America).
Hollis is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and leads human rights discussions with school children.
Below are some examples of Hollis’ writing for children, though there are many more children’s stories and poems in the pipeline!
Published in Root & Star Magazine: the children’s poem My City Forest.
This city is my forest
and its buildings are my trees.
They tower up above me
sending chills down to my knees.
And if I listen closely,
I hear the city calling.
Its beeps and honks and chatter
can still a nature longing.
Fountains are my waterfalls;
their spray makes my face tingle.
Wild-winged creatures swoop on down
to drink and splash and mingle.
Four legged furries rule the parks,
growing wilder as they run.
And though a leash may hold them,
it’s the freedom they find fun.
This city is my forest –
as mysterious and wild
as any woodlands can be.
This town’s perfect for a child!
‘My City Forest’ (Root & Star, March 2019 ‘Forest’ Issue)