A tribe of previously undiscovered creatures living in the heart of the Lake District have made their way into print in three books aimed at 4 – 9 year olds.
The Odd Soks, from different families and different species, are linked by their brightly coloured odd soks that they wear and the adventures that they find themselves in. The Elms – Rufus with his red hair and fiery personality, grumpy Mosscrop with his green hair shaped like a freshly cut haystack and Bud. Then there are the Paddlers from the streams and the Lowbs who live in the barns – Little Lowb constantly looking out for the good of his Odd Sok friends and family. Continue reading
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
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. Continue reading
From High Heels to High Hills: One Woman Walking the Lake District – in Her Own Style
It was the cover of this sassy book that first caught my attention and captured my imagination. I had toyed with the idea of packing a day sack and heading to the hills for some months but always stopped just short of planning a route. I’m not sure if that was because it was just easier to enjoy the view across Lake Windermere and the hills beyond on the drive to work but, more likely, a lack of confidence fuelled by the many thoughts that assailed my mind – ‘you are not outdoorsy enough’; ‘you will get lost and end up having to call out mountain rescue’; ‘people like you should stick to tea rooms and garden centres’.
Whatever the reason, my interest was piqued by the pair of spotty red, white and blue Dune stilettos (mud photo-shopped on!) pointing resolutely towards a magnificent Lakeland mountain scene and taking centre stage on the cover of From High Heels to High Hills. Tanya Oliver was obviously a lady after my own heart! Continue reading
Holiday Book review of Val McDermid’s Lake District based Thriller
Before setting off on holiday, I like to try to read a novel either about the place I am visiting or by a local author. I don’t mind if the details of the plot are factually correct or if the author has used artistic license, I am more interested in soaking up an atmosphere or the ‘sense’ of a place; a preparation for discovery.
For visitors to the Lake District, Val McDermid does this in her psychological suspense thriller The Grave Tattoo. She mixes history, literature and murder most foul wrapped up in the culture and heritage of Wordsworth country. Many of the place names are actual – Lancaster, Kendal, Keswick, Coniston –Dove Cottage, Grasmere and even Zefferelli’s cinema in Ambleside get a mention. Continue reading