An author/illustrator living in Broadstairs will be giving readings from her first self-published children’s picture book this month.
Julie Leonard will be sharing her tale of William, The Strongest Caterpillar in the World at events in Westgate and Broadstairs.
Mum-of-three Julie says she was inspired to write the tale after spotting a cute green caterpillar on a runner bean stalk in her garden and thought she could use her character as a way to help children who are facing challenges.
The book is the first in a series of six tales featuring William and his friends. It is the story of a little caterpillar who feels like he doesn’t fit in and is not taken seriously. He goes on an adventure to discover more of his world and ends up helping some ants whose children are in danger. He overcomes his lack of confidence and makes some fantastic new friends.
Julie, who has lived in Broadstairs for 20 years, said: “The reason I wrote William, after spotting the cutest green caterpillar ever on a runner bean stalk in my garden, is because children can suffer with all sorts of challenges when growing up and I wanted to try and address some of those in a helpful and witty way.
“I struggled at school to fit in and I was once described by one of my teachers as having an ‘inconvenient personality’
“I loved sketching and making up stories and I think that helped to get me through. It took me a good year and a half to write, illustrate and self-publish this first book, after I had finally pulled my finger out and got on with it. I had originally put it down for the longest time unfinished and came back to it the year before last.”
Julie is ‘helped’ with penning her tales by her cat Felix. She said: “ My three sons are fully fledged now. Felix keeps me company during the day, when I’m focusing on book two, ‘William the Caterpillar who was Scared of the Dark’, and he can often be found happily sitting on my work!”
Julie will be giving a reading at Mr Lemonheads new ice cream and candy store at 132, High Street, Broadstairs, on Friday, October 21. The event runs from 2pm to 5pm and will also feature Broadstairs authors Chris Horn (The Word Spider series), John Condon (The Pirates are coming! And other books) and Susie Darnton (There’s a Sandwitch on the Beach!). They will also be joined by Broadstairs Beacon editor Lorraine Williams.
Children of all ages can enjoy readings/signings/activities and games.
Julie will also hold a reading at The Classroom, 34 Station Road, Westgate, on Wednesday, October 26 at 2pm. Booking is essential by calling The Classroom on 833352 or go to www.theclassroom.co.uk
The book costs £7.99 and is currently for sale at:
Native Self, 116, High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1JB,
Book Bodega, 7, Harbour Street, Ramsgate, CT11 8FG,
The Baker Street Bistro (upstairs at The Petticoat Lane Emporium), 47, Dumpton Park Drive, Ramsgate, CT11 8AD,
The Classroom, 34, Station Road, Westgate-on-Sea, CT8 8QY,