A Cliftonville couple have published four children’s books after using lockdown as an opportunity to work together.
Michael Kourt, a retired lecturer and already an author, and partner Kaye Anne, a retired care manager, have brought to life the adventures of a gander with poor eyesight.
Michael writes and Kaye illustrates the charming tales aimed at children five to 10[years-old but with a humour to entertain older readers and beautiful pictures to captive littler ones.
The tales are based on a character created by Michael for his book ‘The Goose Wish’ about Oopsie Doopsie, a gander with very poor eye-sight who crash-lands in the garden of Trisha La Tisha, a goose determined to make this bumbling new visitor notice her no matter what it takes.
Kaye, who has also written and illustrated What Is A Secret Fairy Wish?, says the books were a new experience for her.
She said: “We took the opportunity to make the best out of a dreadful situation for everyone. Michael has written lots before but it was quite new for me, I just thought I would have a go at drawing and painting.
“The books we have done together are for 5-10 year olds but they are full of fun so suitable for any age really, even adults.
“At 5 you can read to them. At 7-8 they can read it for themselves and the pictures also tell the story if they are younger.”
The pair, who have four grandchildren together, say some books can be created in four to six weeks but other may take longer with editing.
Michael, who returned to his love of writing children’s books and musicals after he retired, said: “As a teenager I did music courses and film courses and I wrote some musicals, but life takes over. I did a degree and went to work in teaching but I really wanted to get back to those things.
“With lockdown a lot of commitments had to stop so there was more time to consider what I wanted to do.. Kaye has a really good imagination and a good eye for creating pictures.
“We try to be objective about what we can achieve, We have had good feedback which encouraged us to carry on.”
The Goose That Popped Off was the couple’s first collaboration followed by two further goose stories: Oopsie Doopsie Goes Fishing and Oopsie Doopsie and the Big Red Fish. The amusing illustarted stories are about friendship, family and kindness to others.
The pair are working on some more goose tales and Kaye, who initially trained to be a registered nurse focusing on children with special needs before becoming a care manager, is also writing more fairy books
She said: “It is keeping us very busy!”
All the books are available via Amazon.co.uk on Kindle or in paperback format and from any local bookstore.