< 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

Promote Unity in your Workplace

Celebrate National Inclusion Week 2021   National Inclusion week is taking place from 27th September – 3rd October this year. It is designed to celebrate everyday inclusion in all its forms. 2021 marks the 9th year Inclusive Employers has brought together organisations across the globe to celebrate, share and inspire inclusion practices.   Each year …

Read more...

50th anniversary for Leigh bakery

Leigh—based Home Made Bakery has this year reached its 50th Anniversary, and the family of bakers are sharing their origin story of which they are so proud   Ken and Aileen Flanagan both foundered the bakery 50 years ago. They both met in London on Coronation Day, and married soon afterwards. When Mr Flanagan left …

Read more...

Kitchen Trends of 2021

The single wall and the island   What consumers want from their kitchens changes all the time. However, one trend which has proved it is here to stay is the kitchen island: versatile, attractive and on most peoples’ kitchen wish list. Another trend which has recently emerged it the lean towards a single wall kitchen …

Read more...

Slow and Steady wins the Race

Delicious Slow Cooker recipes to snuggle up with   Slow cookers allow you to adopt the hands-off cooking approach whilst still creating meals which are full of flavour and delicious to eat. If you’re ever short on time in the morning, slow cookers mean you can prep everything the night before, cover and store in …

Read more...