Holiday Book Review: Felltarn Friends – fun for all the family!

How many of us have dreamed of writing and publishing a children’s book? Me, for one!

Now tell me, how many of us have actually achieved it? Sadly, I’m sure like many others, not me! However, meet two plucky women from Cumbria who had that dream and in December 2013 picked up the proof that the dream had become a reality.

Claire Mansfield and Amy Onyango are the creators of Felltarn Friends, a children’s activity book that will keep younger members of the family amused for hours on end and, I predict, will be ‘best friend’ to all visiting families to The Lake District who come across this little gem.

The dream becomes a reality. Amy and Claire with their newly published book

The dream becomes a reality. Amy and Claire with their newly published book

Cleverly crafted and beautifully illustrated, this 96-page book is literally packed with things to learn, craft and colour and discover. Claire and Amy have meticulously researched activities and family days out in the area, ably assisted by their children aged between 2 and 10.

Felltarn Friends, Lake District Adventures introduces us to eight furry, fluffy or pink friends, Harry Fox, Henry Dog and Willie Pig to name three. From Ulverston to Ullswater and beyond, the characters take us on a journey of discovery, challenging the readers to open their eyes to the countryside around them and bringing a new dimension to family days out in the Lake District. There are environmental and historical facts, tips for walkers and pond dippers, storywriting projects, a game of I-Spy, jokes, wordsearches, recommendations for sunny days out and rainy days in – to mention a fraction of what is contained between the silky smooth cover.

Grown ups are actively encouraged to get involved and will be required to help with the local recipes and other projects. There are even post codes to all attractions included – they have thought of everything!

I asked Claire about the inspiration for the book. “I am originally from South Africa and when I moved over to the Lake District I looked for a children’s book to send back home to a family member. The only books I could find were Beatrix Potter stories and I immediately saw a gap in the market.”

Pupils of Old Hutton delighted to receive the first copies

Pupils of Old Hutton delighted to receive the first copies

The two friends met as parents through their children’s primary school. One day whilst out walking, Claire discovered that one of Amy’s early ambitions was to write a book. One thing led to another and together they embarked on a year of research, writing and illustrations. Amy, a single Mum who grew up in Cumbria, said that they were accountable to each other for progress throughout the project. They would give each other weekly writing, illustrating and editing targets and, encouraging each other in this way, amidst all the other responsibilities as Mums, the book took shape steadily throughout the year.

I am sure we will be hearing more about the Felltarn characters. Indeed Amy and Claire have already started documenting the adventures of the animal friends. I’m hoping they will supply us with a steady supply of Cumbrian based Birthday and Christmas gifts for many years to come!

Get a Free Copy of Felltarn Friends

Children love the varied activities in the book

Children love the varied activities in the book

Low Wood Bay have teamed up with Felltarn Friends and are running a special 3 night family offer where we will be giving every child a copy of this fun-packed activity book.  Hurry! Book before 31st March for stays up to 2nd November 2014.

For full offer details see Low Wood Bay Special Offers.

Alternatively, you can purchase the fun filled, 90 page activity book for £8.99 from Low Wood Bay reception.

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