About Malba Books


Malba Books was started during the pandemic…

Question? What can you do when the day job disappears and you’re left to twiddle your thumbs at an ‘ahem’ mature age?

Answer. FINALLY write and publish the kids books that you’ve had in your head for over 40 years!

Mary Barry Childrens Book Author Headshot-600b

Who is Mary Barry?

The short version

  • A mother of three, now very grown up adults.
  • A grandmother to Sophie.
  • A former college lecturer and educator.
  • I taught Science (I love it) and maths and forensic stuff (like CSI - but not, cause…real science!).
  • An occasional trainer of chickens but mostly horses and their people.
  • And now…. a published AUTHOR!

Also, a long time wannabe writer of kids books ‘cause when my own children were young, I wrote lots of silly books for them.

More about me...

Illustrators are essential!

Emanuel Alba, the handsome guy in the photo, is multi-talented.

  • He sings in London’s West End theatres.
  • He acts, yes, on a stage and in front of audiences who love him!
  • He writes.
  • He draws fun comic strips.
  • And now he illustrates the Read, Rhyme, Repeat series!
Emanuel Alba Illustrator Headshot

And now, even more people have joined the team…

Lauren Hidalgo

Lauren Hidalgo Headshot

Lauren is our clever cover designer.

She gave us beautiful new covers for the Read, Rhyme, Repeat series.

Oshadi Sandareka


Oshadi has done the illustrations for FLEAS

Fleas is the first book in the Just 4 Fun series. with a rhyming story, flea facts and flea fun.

Young children, starting out on their reading career, love the Read, Rhyme Repeat series. So do their parents!
These are clever phonics books designed for 3-5 year olds. Check them out!

I’m Mary, lover of reading, rhythm and ridiculous rhymes and now a children’s book author.

I wanted to bring fun into phonics. My books use imaginary creatures, rhyme and repetition and the children LOVE them! Having fun with words, helps to increase their confidence in their reading abilities.  The “Color The Story” versions and workbooks combine with the reading books to spark creativity and improve literacy skills

Not happy with just writing books, I’m also publishing under the name Malba Books.  My aim here is to help other authors get their books (and passion) out into the world.

The backstory…
I got back into writing children’s books when the pandemic put a stop to my then career.  I say ‘back into writing for children’ because this is what I did for my own children many years ago.  Back then, there was no such thing as self-publishing and despite my best efforts, traditional publishers were simply not interested.  The books I wrote did encourage my own kids to LOVE reading and they all became excellent readers at a very young age.

So pre-pandemic, I was full-time traveling all over Europe (and occasionally the US and New Zealand) training people to train their own horses.  What made these course different was the use of positive reinforcement and marker signals, combined with breaking behaviours down to easily achievable steps.  This motivated learners and resulted in a very high rate of success and enthusiasm.

In another life, I was a college lecturer, teaching mainly microbiology but also other Science topics for many years.  Other positions included being an Analytical Laboratory Manager and a science research technician.

I am the proud mother of three very grown-up children and have one gorgeous granddaughter

As a result of my career background and personal journey, I have a great understanding of how all animals, especially the human ones, learn and the best ways to make this learning easy, memorable and fun.  These are the skills I am bringing to my books!


You know reading is an essential life skill, right?
You want to help your kids to become readers.
You hate to see them struggling.
You can’t understand how they’re bored with books or ‘hate’ reading….

Then you need to get my top tips: