Chloe’s Promise is a delightful new children’s book and video book raising funds for the NHS
NHS Charities Together is set to benefit from a charming new video and print book that reinforces to children the importance of taking time to rest – and keeping their promises. Written and illustrated by mother of two, Barbara Panetta from Richmond, Surrey, Chloe’s Promise is free to download, but aims to raise valuable funds from voluntary donations.
Ben Shephard, presenter of ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Tipping Point, proudly agreed to narrate the story, which uses an ant called Chloe to reinforce its key messages.
Barbara Panetta, Italian published novelist, was in her garden listening to one of her daughters diligently practising a difficult Chopin piece on the piano, when she noticed a column of ants struggling to collect a biscuit crumb that had fallen to the ground. This set Barbara’s thoughts in motion, and the idea for Chloe’s Promise was germinated.
With both her daughters being very musically gifted, Barbara was able to enlist the kindest collaboration of pianist Alessandro Viale to create and perform a bespoke soundtrack for the video book. Barbara worked together with children’s psychologist Giovanna Campolo to ensure that the words used, and the moral is appropriate for children of three years and above. The result is a charming, illustrative lesson that is sure to engage any small child.
The story is about a little ant named Chloe and her brothers and sisters who are very busy collecting food for the winter. On a sunny day, while watching all their insect friends playing, the little ants wish they could also have a break to join their friends and have some fun together. However, they need permission from their parents. Chloe is the one who decides to ask their Mum and Dad for a day of freedom and, in doing so, she and her brothers and sisters make a very important promise.
Illustrations and Language
Through the illustrations and the use of simple language, children can identify with the main characters, comparing themselves to small, hard-working, determined, and disciplined ants.
This book is illustrated and painted using watercolour, rather than digital processing, to keep it as simple as possible. The spots of colour in most of the pages, which give the impression of an unfinished work, is the specific intention of the graphic designer, to share the idea that nothing is perfect with readers.
The music to this story has been written, selected and recorded at home, during the lockdown, by the Italian composer and pianist Alessandro Viale. The little ant pianist, Chloe thinks musically: every thought, every feeling, is reflected in the different tunes. Alessandro Viale identified himself with the little Chloe, playing most of the music on his ancient 1815 Broadwood piano, accompanied by his wife, the violinist Rebecca Raimondi. The story ends with Chloe playing the piano with the orchestra, joining all her friends, finally free.
Barbara Panetta is an Italian – British published author, artist and linguist, who lives in Richmond with her family and her golden retriever. Her language studies and interest in psychology drew her to write her first novel “Ricordi in Movimento” (2015), she also curated and edited several collections of short stories such as Lo Dice il Mare (2016) and On the Radio (2018). She contributes to several media and entertainment magazines and regularly collaborates with international artists and musicians.