< Back to blog

Mother of Southend Countdown star Rachel Riley publishes new children’s book Posted On 13 November 2020

From a words brain to a maths brain, the mother of Countdown maths genius Rachel Riley has recently written and published a new book, entitled ‘The Money Tree.’

The book aims to teach children that money doesn’t really grow on trees, in an effort to impart the importance of being frugal and sensible with the money you have. The book comes as our lockdowns have taught us all, adults alike, that tough economic times can hit us as a nation at any time, and being prepared and financially stable, before and during such events, is a wise investment to behold.

63 year-old Celia Riley wrote and published the new book during our national lockdown, in Thorpe Bay where she still lives. Always having been a keen writer, she decided to work on the illustrated book during lockdown, which was a perfect time seeing as she was entering retirement.           A former fundraising manager, Celia teamed up with illustrator, Bill Newman, a friend of hers based in South Ockendon.

The book is aimed at four to eight-year-olds, and tells the story of a greedy boy named Gregory who tries to grow his own money tree but is subsequently faced with a number of obstacles along the way.

Celia said: “I’ve been writing for years – when I was at school I wanted to be a journalist. But I was given bad advice at school and told that to be a journalist I would have to go to the Elephant and Castle College of Journalism to do a course but only two per cent of people come out with a job so it was off-putting.

“Bill is a fabulous portrait painter and he wasn’t getting many jobs due to the pandemic so he did some lovely illustrations for me. He’d never done children’s illustrations before but he did a brilliant job.”

Celia continued: “It was a bit painful learning how to format it for Amazon but I did it and now have books two and three written – I have a million ideas in my head for stories that are quite original. I have a four year old grandson, Finlay, and one of the next books I have written is about him and I also have a little granddaughter who is coming up for one – Rachel’s daughter Maven. I’m hoping we get out of lockdown in time to spend Christmas with her.”

Celia has said her Southend-born celebrity daughter, Rachel Riley, is very supportive of her. The mother and daughter will be appearing on Family Fortunes this Sunday on ITV, along with Rachel’s husband and former Strictly Come Dancing partner, Pasha Kovalev.

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

The green shoots of personal growth

Put some bounce into spring with a new hobby   So here we are, spring already: the season of new birth, new growth … and new ideas. It’s an exciting time of the year, even more so if you’ve decided to broaden your horizons and embark on a new hobby. As the weather, hopefully, grows …

Read more...

Rave on! Putting a new spin on virtual experiences

Five things to look out for this month to put a spark into your weekends   Pssst! Wanna go to a rave? Don’t worry, this one’s totally legit and even though, like any good party, you’re going to have go looking for it, you won’t be breaking any lockdown restrictions. Because it’s in your own …

Read more...

The Budget: Stamp Duty Holiday extended and more…

The Chancellor has set out the 2021 budget and here we look at what it means for the property market.   Earlier today, Rishi Sunak set out one of the most significant budgets in recent times. It has been highly anticipated by the wider public and the property market alike. Here we are going to …

Read more...

Keep on keeping on Britain

We’re inching ever closer to the end of lockdown   Just like the last fifty-yards in a marathon or when the open goal is staring into your face, looming larger than ever, now is the time to take a deep breath, regain your composure and push through the hardest test. Now is not the time …

Read more...

The Big Names Bringing Out New Music

As we enter March, the music keeps on coming, as we welcome new material from some of the biggest acts around the world   Kings of Leon This year sees Kings of Leon release a new album. Back in January, the Tennessee quarter shared two new songs ‘Must Catch the Bandit’ and ‘Feel the Way …

Read more...