About the Author

Sophie Says Author

Esther is changing the game in the early years children’s book market. Her books ensure critically important lessons in self-belief, mental health and gender equality are shown in an authentic and fun way. Esther has gained national media coverage, won numerous awards and has spoken openly about her personal story all around the world including Buckingham Palace. She left her prestigious corporate career as Global Lead of Gender D&I at Unilever to fight to break the stigma around mental health after losing her younger sister to mental illness. Esther is mum to her three-year-old son who is the first and most important critic of Esther’s writing.

About Esther illustration

A Few Words from the Author, Esther Marshall:

“I knew from the second my son was born I wanted to teach him that girls were just as strong and powerful as boys, that people from different backgrounds to him could teach him things and he should listen and be kind to everyone.

The problem was, all the books I could find to read to him had:

  • Mostly male characters (even the animals)
  • Little to no diversity or representation
  • No female role models he could look up to

So I decided that if I couldn’t find the book I wanted to read to my son, I’d better write my own. My younger sister, a talented artist said she would do the illustrations with me. It would be our joint project. She suffered with mental illness and ended up back in hospital unable to do the illustrations. I would go to the hospital and visit and show her how the book was coming along and she would provide input. Tragically, just before the first lockdown in 2020 my sister died from Bi Polar by suicide. In the night after she passed away I wrote the second book Sophie Says Its Okay Not To Be Okay in her memory. I decided to leave my job and take Sophie Says on full time to fight the stigma around mental health and ensure every day of my life was spent teaching young children the importance of their mental health whilst building a legacy for my sister. 

I want all children to know and believe that they can achieve their dreams regardless of gender, race, religion or class and that their mental health is equally as important as their physical health. 

At Sophie Says I aim to make life's most important lessons fun to learn."