Inclusive publishing in practice: interview with Truth & Tails


Phoebe Kirk is the co-founder of Truth & Tails, and also creates illustrative work at Phoebe Kirk Illustration:

1. In a nutshell, what is Truth and Tails?

Truth & Tails is the series of children’s books created by myself, the illustrator and author Alice Reeves. Our books are aimed at children ages 4–8 which tackle hard-to-explain concepts using loveable and colourful characters.

Truth and Tails

2. What led you to set up the company?

Alice and I decided to set up Truth & Tails as a way of bringing inclusivity and diversity into children’s fiction. We want to bring social issues that parents might find difficult to vocalise into children’s and by proxy parents’ lives in an accessible and fun way. Initially we started out as self-published; this worked well for us for the first couple of years but when we decided to take the business to the next level, we were quickly picked up by our publisher Jessica Kingsley publishers as we had shared values and a matching ethos.

3. How well do you think the publishing industry is doing at publishing inclusive books for children?

When we started four years ago there weren’t as many children’s books with a similar message to ours in mainstream circles. Now the market has opened up a lot more; the Big Five publishers have even started releasing more inclusive titles.

4. What are your hopes and plans for the next few years at Truth and Tails?

We enjoy school and nursery visits particularly and our aim is to get our books into more schools and libraries, We also have a few larger ideas in the pipeline but unfortunately we have to keep some under wraps for the time being. One ambition of mine is to produce an animated series of Truth & Tails one day for children’s television. 

Truth and Tails 2

5. Can you foresee a time when we no longer need publishers who are explicitly focused on inclusivity?

Whilst it would be wonderful if diverse fiction was widely accepted I think there will always be a need for specific publishers for various content. Our publisher Jessica Kingsley Publishers creates a platform for many specified areas of books not just children’s fiction. They focus on content for autism, gender identity and many other themes and I think it will always be appropriate for those titles to have their own space on the market.


Related Articles

Sign up to our Newsletter


* indicates required

BookMachine Ltd. will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices.