Chris Madeley came up with the idea for her successful Cones books while travelling to the company’s branch office just outside London where she worked as Operations Director and Independent Financial Advisor.
“It was whilst frequently travelling up and down the M1 motorway from my home in Leeds, constantly sitting in road works and traffic jams staring at row after row of traffic cones, that gave me the idea,” said Chris. “I started thinking that there must be a way these cones could be put to good use other than sitting there on the motorway and I could turn this negative into a positive.” The idea for Cones books was born.
The beautifully illustrated books, published by Fisher King Publishing, are based on four key characters: Conestance, Conerad, Cone-Vera and Conen who go on great adventures; but there is a serious side to the books. Chris came up with the idea of linking these books and characters into business with her first book: Meet the Cones.
For example, Grand Central Rail continually play their part in the education of children to the thrills and dangers of the railway system. The team at Grand Central didn’t hesitate to get behind Cones on the Rails, specifically targeting points of safety for children. According to Network Rail, which manages the infrastructure of the UK’s rail network, there have been more than 2000 incidents on level crossings involving young people in the last five years. In the past twelve months, seven children have died and a further 48 have received life-changing injuries on the railway. Sean English, chief operating officer at Grand Central said: “Rail safety is a basic concept that can be overlooked. The best way to get the message across is to educate children on safety from an early age. These books make perfect sense.”
Since Cones on the Rails was written, it has been translated into many languages including Chinese, Japanese and Italian.
“In the books, the Cones only come to life when nobody is looking,” explained Chris, “but in each book, they go on to educate children about the dangers around some industries, such as playing near railway lines, waterways or roads. They help corporate Britain educate children in a fun-to-read way.
“I often see children whilst I’m out and about, looking at a cone in the street, looking away then sneaking a glance with the hope of seeing it move,” she laughed.
There are currently 10 books in the series, with five translated into foreign language. Industries which have adopted this approach of educating children from an early age include power, environment, construction, safety in road works, diversity, inclusivity and careers to name a few.
The latest book in the series, just recently launched, is Cones Visit The Children’s Hospital commissioned by Town Centre Securities for Leeds Children’s Hospital. This beautifully written and illustrated book helps children understand what it is like to visit the hospital as either an outpatient or by being admitted. It teaches them there is fun to be had, not to be frightened and what they might expect during their stay or visit.
“I am delighted that Corporate Britain is using the medium of the Cones series to get their very important messages to children. The books are available from Amazon, and on order from Waterstones and other good bookstores,” concluded Chris.
If you are interested in commissioning one of these books visit www.theconesbooks.co.uk