About Stella Publishing
Eric Jervis grew up in London. He attended West Greenwich Secondary School from which, in what he claims was a shocking miscarriage of justice, he was expelled for a short period. Just as school started to become much more interesting in the fifth year, his mum found him a job ‘in the print’ which, she said would guarantee him a job for life.
He started as an errand boy, became a printer’s assistant, then after his marriage, by telling a few porkies succeeded in blagging his way into five years of evening classes at the London College of Printing, despite this being strictly forbidden by the trade unions who controlled it, and became successively a litho platemaker, litho camera operator, studio manager, and then worked his way up to become a bus driver.
After seven years as an Inspector at New Cross Garage, endeavouring to make the crews do an honest day’s work, which he describes as ‘interesting’, he moved to Cornwall in 1986 as the windsurfing conditions there were considerably more challenging.
Shortly after, he was discovered to have an eye condition which made it painful for him to keep jumping into the sea. C’est la vie!
So he took up gliding instead, being awarded the Bronze ‘C’ a few years later.
His interest in French was rekindled when his son Adrian, at the age of thirteen, was put into a stream at school in which he would no longer learn French, which was his best subject. As any father would do, Eric borrowed a Linguaphone course from the local library, bought a few Astérix books, and took Adrian for private French lessons every week. Adrian got a GCSE in French, became a builder of course, and subsequently an electrician, then the manager of a large maintenance company, but he does have frequent holidays in France where he enjoys talking to the natives.
In the words of Eric, our Creative Director;
When the time came to teach French to my four-year-old granddaughter Erin, I realised that Astérix wasn’t really suitable for her age group, and looked around for some old fashioned story books such as my children used to enjoy. I discovered the Camille series in a French supermarket, and bought a few, which I would magically produce when Erin turned around, shut her eyes tight, and said the magic word, Abracadabra. She was always delighted with her new book (Ooo, a Camille book!) and very impressed with my magical powers. She always wanted to finish the story but I would refuse to translate it until she had first read it satisfactorily in French. At the same time I read them to other children in English who enjoyed them enormously, so I thought it would be a good idea to publish them in English and French as a teaching aid.
You can see how well these books work by clicking on the link on our home page, ‘Watch five-year-old Erin reading a French book’.