moonbeam and sunbeam arctic

Moonbeam and Sunbeam | Writing for Children

Molly Holborn leads us on a journey through the writing of her bestselling children’s book, Moonbeam’s Arctic Adventure.

As a thirteen-year-old girl looking to make some kind of impact on the ever-changing world, I felt like I had no power, no voice. Scribbling down stories of animals and dangerous quests was, in a way, my weapon against the things I could not control. When my grandfather published his first book in 2006, we knew that together we could creatively ease both of our minds. It resulted in a long period of brainstorming and playing around with animals and plot lines.

Thus leading to the creation of Moonbeam and Sunbeam, two relentlessly optimistic dolphins who receive distress signals concerning a giant iceberg heading their way with two Inuit children stuck on it, our beloved dolphins and a whole host of other arctic animals aid in their rescue and restore the two young children to safety. Aimed at 5-9 year old’s our book, published by the wonderful Y Lolfa, has a very important message in it that we hope will inspire young minds.

It was my grandfather that suggested we bring in humans to the story, as a former geography lecturer and a general lover of many different cultures, he wanted to introduce two young Inuit children into the mix and in a way, introduce its culture to our young readers. I remember flicking through endless books and copies of National Geographic to find more about the Inuits, their way of life and the landscape in which they lived. It all fascinated me, and it continues to do so now. It also allowed us to form a bridge between humans and animals, working together and forming a bond which has been lost as deforestation grows. It’s a gentle reminder that all of us are a part of nature, rather than one side against the other.

It was important to us to spread the word about something that seems more extreme now than it did almost 10 years ago, however now with climate change becoming ever more extreme, the timing for our book couldn’t be better as our young readers can be the change we all desperately need. That was our intention, to create and to deliver. Planting small seeds in hope of big changes.

moonbeam and sunbeam

Part of this creation was not just down to our writing, but the illustrations done by Maria Moss, a wonderful artist who just happened to also be my driving instructor. We clicked the moment after I passed my test, but that’s another story. Her beautiful illustrations were authentic and calming in their colour and depictions, easy for children to understand and they entwined easily with our words. There was one illustration in particular that really sums up our important message, more than words ever can. Crystal the polar bear and her two cubs nestling into their mother and she cries. Crying for the fear of the future or perhaps for no future at all. Maria really engaged with the emotion in our story, splaying it on the page to help visualise our words.

moonbeam and sunbeam

Many parents and local schools have purchased our book which is so heart-warming to hear and we hope more will do the same. The more enjoyment this book receives the better and social media has been a wonderful tool in receiving feedback; we have also received artwork from primary school children who loved our characters and that alone made us happy. We doubt that we will inspire nations, but even if we inspire one young mind that is more than enough, for it only takes idea to change the world.

Although the animals are fictional, they are based on real endangered species whose habitats are no longer safe and secure. This is mostly down to human greed and business that revel in profit at the expense of the environment and the wellbeing of animals, which is why ‘Moonbeam’s Arctic Adventure’ is so important to us, we want to see a future for the next generation. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to create this story together and send it off into the world, we hope it inspires and brings joy to all its readers.


Moonbeam’s Arctic Adventures is available now from Y Lolfa.

You might also like…

Nicola Davies gives unique insight into the making of children’s environmental book, The Promise, and its journey from print to a new BBC film set for release in October.