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16-year-old author Jess Robus has written a children’s book about personal identity, which has also been designed to help children with dyslexia read it with ease.


Johannesburg, South Africa (18 April 2023) – Jess Robus is a 16-year-old high school student, poet, author and mental health advocate. She is celebrating the release of a children’s book this World Book Day, that helps children. Her book is called Arnold The Not Dinosaur.

Jess has been writing since the age of 8 years old. She wrote her first poems at eight, wrote the lyrics and music for her first song at 9 years old and in 2021 published her first anthology of poetry called “a few slivers of light”.

She uses writing as a means to process the world around her but she also loves writing escapism. To date, she has written poems, short stories, fan fiction, songs, two mini-musicals and now her new children’s book.

Mental health and awareness around it are very important to Jess and after struggling with anxiety and depression herself, she used her first book as a means to open conversations on these issues. She has spoken at a number of schools and literary platforms and is also a youth ambassador for Edu360 – a school for the neuro-diverse. Jess hopes that her new children’s book will help children younger than herself, understand some of the complex feelings they may have.

Arnold The Not Dinosaur is a beautifully illustrated children’s book and is about family, belonging, identity and everything in between. She wrote the book at age twelve and has been working to get it published.

Beautifully illustrated by Holly Evers, Arnold the Not Dinosaur tells the tale of a great green galumphing dinosaur, Arnold, who must grapple with issues of personal identity and staying true to himself in a world full of people insisting that he must be something other than what he truly is.

With Arnold the Not Dinosaur, she hopes to open discussions around mental health and identity with younger children – providing an opportunity for healthy dialogue around complicated questions. This book is perfect for children aged 0-7 years old, although readers of all ages can appreciate the sensitive story and beautiful illustrations.

“I wrote this kids’ book when I was twelve years old – still a kid myself! – because I knew even then that I wanted to share the important message of kindness and self-acceptance with other young people. I’m so incredibly excited to release this book and open important conversations with young people, letting them know that they are loved, wanted, and good enough just as they are.” – Jess Robus

The book is in a Dyslexic-friendly font, making it easier to read for those that battle with Dyslexia.

Award-winning speaker and 5-times best-selling author, Nikki Bush had this to say about Arnold the Not Dinosaur; “Jess’s youth gives her unique insight into diversity and inclusion. Invisibility and not fitting in are real issues for children and can be damaging to their self-concept with long term ramifications into adulthood. Children are a work in progress. Each one is different in some way that makes them unique. This book is a celebration of uniqueness and difference. Arnold the Not Dinosaur is a great conversation starter and a contribution to creating a kinder world.”

Arnold the Not Dinosaur is set to be released on Saturday, 22nd April 2023 as part of the weekend of World Book Day Celebrations (which is recognised on 23rd April).

For more information about the book and Jess, please check out her website here. Pre-orders can be made now before the launch this weekend.

Source: Press Release
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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