Who we are

It’s a family affair 

Malba books is run by me (Mary Barry) with the endless help of my wonderful family and friends. I write the silly words and rhymes.

My genius friend Emanuel Alba creates the wonderful imagery – hence “Malba”

My podcasting, doctor, scientist, radio presenter daughter (can you tell I’m a little proud) Claire records the audio books. 

My graphic designing brother Kieran does all the technical fiddly bits which are way beyond my capacity 

And my son Stephen does the marketing, emailing and makes a semi decent cup of coffee! 

Brave new beginnings – The Malba Journey 

The overriding lesson I took from 2020 was that nothing in life is guaranteed.

I had gotten very comfortable and used to a world on demand.  My job involved lots of travel and teaching people all over the world. 2020 would take all that away. And lets face it 2021 isn’t shaping up a whole lot better so far. 

So I wholeheartedly decided to embrace the concept of “there’s no time like the present”. Or in a more Irish vernacular “will ya ever just get on with it and do it!”

Which brings us to the beginning of the Malba books adventure!!

As a lady of a certain vintage who has celebrated many anniversaries of her 21st birthday I have always longed to write children’s books. It has been a passion of mine ever since I first wrote original stories for my three (no longer little) kids. 

Up until now, I’ve allowed life and excuses to get in the way.
“I’ll get to that soon”
“I’ve got to prioritise other things” 
Or…. the one that really got exposed by 2020
“I don’t have enough time”

If there’s one thing this pandemic HAS brought us it’s that gift of time.  No more excuses – time to get my act together and very cheesily “chase the dream”. 

The wheels start rolling 

I’ve had a lifelong passionate affair with reading, writing and learning.
When my three kids (who are all grown up sadly) were a little bit smaller I would write simple colourful stories for them. I used phonic sounds and illustrated them with my very basic stick figure drawings. 

Stick figures, Stick figure cat, Baby Owl on a log, Malba Books, Whats an Og, Stick figures, @manni_alba, illustration, Phonics, learn to read

In 2020 I dusted off these stories and took the time to write some new material centred on the concept of learning through phonics with rhyme. 

Knowing that my stick figures wouldn’t cut it in the world of book publishing I managed to connect with the wonderful Emanual Alba (a friend of my sons).

From the very first meeting it was clear our ideas and creativity connected wonderfully. 

I think you’ll agree from the incredible illustrations it was a good collaboration. 

I write the silly words and rhymes. 

Brave new beginnings – The Malba Journey