Banburyshire couple's children's Christmas book reaches top spot on the Amazon chart

A couple from Bloxham whose three-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare condition have been given two amazing Christmas gifts.

Alexandra and Jason Conchie and three-year-old Isla
Alexandra and Jason Conchie and three-year-old Isla

The most important is news that their daughter is largely recovered and the second is that their lockdown children's books have hit the top of an Amazon chart.

Earlier this year, during the first lockdown, Alex and Jason Conchie found out that their daughter Isla was suffering from Kawasaki Disease - a condition that mainly affects children under five-years-old.

Isla had been experiencing high and enduring temperatures and when scans showed she was at increased risk of heart damage, she was put on medication that could have been a lifelong need.

Best-selling Christmas book A Carrot on Christmas Eve by Alexandra and Jason Conchie

During those summer months, the little girl spent a lot of time in the garden in Bloxham helping her Mum, Grandad Chris Carter and Uncle Rob to grow vegetables. She had her own set of small tools and was thrilled with how the plants grew and the edible produce.

"We loved how Isla enjoyed the gardening and we wanted to make the idea of vegetables more appealing to children. We decided to write a book on a theme of what vegetables do in the garden when the gardeners have gone back home," said Mr Conchie.

"We found an illustrator, I came up with the scenes and my wife, Alex, wrote the story-poem. We called it Garden Games and self-published it through Amazon."

Garden Games was published a month ago and with huge support, very quickly rose to the top of the Amazon chart for children's gardening books.

Garden Games - Alexandra and Jason Conchie's first children's book

Instead of taking any of the profits, Mr and Mrs Conchie took the money in copies of the book to give to the Salvation Army in Banbury and Oxford to be gifted to children in needy families at Christmas.

But the success of Garden Games encouraged the couple to produce another children's book for Christmas.

"Alex has always been mad about Christmas and seeing how well the Garden Games book went she decided she wanted to create a Christmas one. Most of this was her work and I did the editing," said Mr Conchie, a sports therapist.

In A Carrot on Christmas Eve the carrots are worried that Santa's reindeer might possibly wanting to eat them. And what happens when you use vegetables while making a snowman?

This publication went straight to the top of the same Amazon chart, knocking the Garden Games book from the Number One position. And profits from this storybook have paid for for copies that have been taken to Crisis in Oxford this week for distribution this Christmas.

Mr Conchie said he and his wife, an ambulance technician, have really enjoyed writing and producing the books. The success of the books has been a huge bonus and the couple have received many messages from people saying how much their children have enjoyed the stories.

The greatest news this Christmas is that Isla's condition has improved and she has been taken off medication.

Find out more about Garden Games here and A Carrot on Christmas Eve can be found here. The books are also available on Kindle.