The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp

USD $18.99

Winner of Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year Award 2022

Most children would say that the ocean is blue, but when Bowen looks at it he sees white where the waves crash, deep black on the ocean floor, and green when there’s a storm. Bowen sees the world differently and struggles to fit in. When he turns his uniqueness into his greatest strength, however, he finds his place in the world. Young readers, carers, teachers and psychologists alike will be inspired by this story of embracing diversity while also encouraging children to think differently.

SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820881 | Hardback | 245 x 255mm / 9.5 x 10in | 32 pages | Full Colour

Being ‘normal’ might just be overrated…

A staple resource for experts…

“This new book is definitely part of my recommended reading for families going through an Autism diagnosis, or having trouble with understanding their child’s neurological differences. It is a staple in every classroom too, to decrease stigma associated with children who don’t fit a ‘mould.’.”

– Sounds Adventures, Speech Pathology



A story close to the creator’s hearts…

“When Paul showed me the manuscript, I cried. He had absolutely captured my son’s ‘busy’ mind perfectly and the most rewarding part was being the chosen illustrator! The first time I read it to my son, he blinked in disbelief…. ‘this is me’, he said. He is like many children who think differently in their world and need to be understood!”

– Illustrator Nicky Johnston



And a reminder that there is no ‘right way’ to see the world

This story will appeal to children, carers, teachers, psychologists, and others who work with children with learning difficulties, ADHD and other neurological differences. Readers will find inspiration in this tale of embracing diversity and engaging our full potential. It is a vital reminder that the strength and uniqueness of every child should be encouraged to help them find their place in the world and flourish!




Paul Russell is a primary teacher, artist, playwright and children’s author. Having been in classrooms for over 30 years, it really isn’t surprising that most of his heroes are teachers. Paul is particularly passionate about children’s literacy and in building an appetite within children for the written word and sharing stories.

Paul is the author of numerous EK titles and has won awards for his stories, with Grandma Forgets making the CBCA list of notable picture books in 2018. You can find more EK Books by Paul Russell here

Nicky Johnston is an educator, speaker and author/illustrator of children’s books. She enjoys every aspect of creating books for kids, especially illustration. Nicky’s illustration style is often described as whimsical, emotive, soft and expressive. She is passionate about promoting emotional resilience in children and raising awareness of mental health issues.

Nicky’s love of teaching sees her busy with school visits to share her journey of becoming an author and illustrator, and to show children the process of creating a book using excerpts of her work. She also presents at workshops and conferences. As well as teaching, Nicky works from home writing and illustrating in her art studio, and has contributed to 16 books including including some for EK that can be found here

The Newcastle Herald

Newcastle children’s book author Paul Russell tackles neurological diversity

The Newcastle Herald
Provided by Newcastle Herald

Maggie Dent (via facebook 360K followers)
“If you live with or teach a child who is wired differently or who has been identified as ND this beautiful picture book may be a delight to read. Written by Paul Russell and illustrated in a gorgeous realistic way by Nicky Johnson it explores what happens in Bowen’s mind when he explores the world. I love the message the book gives adults about being curious in neuro affirming ways and how that can help kids find their unique strengths”

Children’s Books Ireland’s
“a gentle story of self-acceptance”

The Space magazine
This is a special book about the power of thinking in unique ways, perfect for the upcoming individual thinkers in the world.


“Paul Russell did a wonderful job thinking of many delightfully humorous and random examples of things that busy minds think about.”

Swings and Roundabouts Magazine

Many children and adults will see themselves in this book, especially those who think outside the norm and find it hard to see themselves in others around them.
This sensitively written book celebrates difference, uniqueness, diversity and encourages children to be curious and question what we think we know and take the time to really ‘see’.

Just So Stories

“We can always depend on EK Books to bring us the books that celebrate differences and provide insight for young readers on a wide range of topics and as usual, I highly recommend this delightful book to you for readers from around 5 years upwards.”

The Age

“New book invites readers to see world the way ‘square peg’ kids do

School Days Magazine
“The story can give carers, teachers and psychologists inspiration to embrace diversity and engage everyone’s full potential. It also shows that every child is unique and we should encourage them to find their place and flourish in our world”

Chair of Judges, Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2021

“It was such a sensitive portrayal of neurodiversity and a celebration of the individualism of each and every child.  The illustrations captured the mood and thoughts of the little boy perfectly. ”

Kids Books NZ

“The story is a great example of neurodiversity and what different ways of seeing the world can contribute to us all as a society.
This is a good book with gentle humour, detailed illustrations, and the invitation for us all to appreciate the details, and think more deeply about questions and issues that surround us.” Click here to read in full

Story Talk Book Peeks

“This beautifully rendered story is essential reading for ..  all the Bowens out there who can feel empowered, finally, for others to hear their story”Click here to read in full

Kids’ Book Review

“Created from the personal experience of both writer and illustrator, this magical book is designed to encourage a deeper understanding and awareness … about the different neurological pathways in the brains of children.  Stunning in every way”.  Click here to read

Bottom Shelf (edu blog)
“The teachers’ notes  offer great insight into the story behind this story and suggest how we can put ourselves into Bowen’s shoes by putting ourselves into one of the situations he finds himself him and using a variety of thinking tools such as De Bono’s Six Hats to gain a new perspective.  Instead of paying lip-service to diversity we can experience it and develop greater understanding and empathy.” Click here to read in full

Buzz Words

“creates a safe space in which to probe the concepts of diversity and potential.” Click here to read in full

Brisbane Sunday Mail’s X Factor section
“Delightfully different”

Educate Empower
“An excellent book to raise self-esteem & a sense of caring for the world” Click here to read

The Carousel
“This inspiring story of embracing diversity and exploring our full potential will capture your child’s heart and teach them that anything is possible.”

 Western Suburbs Weekly
“Embraces neurological diversity and the importance of finding your place in the world rather than confirming”

Blue Wolf Reviews

“The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp does a great job of recognising children who see the world differently.”Click here to read in full

NZ Booklovers
This is a fantastic resource for parents and teachers to share with children and show that there is more than one way of viewing the world. For children who think differently like Bowen the book will be reassuring, and for all children it will encourage them to exercise their minds, be inquisitive, and see things from new perspectives. Click here to read in full

Barefoot Mommy
“As Bowen grows, he finds that his unique way of understanding the world can be a gift to others.”

What book next?
I loved the way The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bartholomew Crisp is told in first person. We get to know Bowen and how he thinks. He ponders questions given him seriously, but like any child also wonders about the weird and wonderful world around him.

Beautifully illustrated in coloured pencil, Bowen’s story is perfect to kick off discussion about differences, empathy, understanding and acceptance of others around you. Gorgeous! Click here to read in full

Sound Adventures – Speech Pathologist 

“This new book is definitely part of my recommended reading for families going through an Autism diagnosis, or having trouble with understanding their child’s neurological differences. It is a staple in every classroom too, to decrease stigma associated with children who don’t fit a ‘mould.’.”Click here to read in full.


“A very inquisitive boy grows up asking lots of curious questions and finally finds his place in the world. Engaging illustrations follow his progress”

Books + Publishing
“this book offers a gentle look at neurodiversity and, eventually, finding one’s place in the world. It’s about accepting that everyone is unique and that standing apart from whatever is considered ‘normal’ has its own rewards.” Click here for the full review.

Book Witch
The Incredibly Busy Mind of Bowen Bartholomew Crisp is the loveliest picture book by Paul Russell and Nicky Johnston. It sounded good before I had it here to read, but it’s miles better in every way now that I have read it.” Click here for the full review.

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