Harrogate author pens squirrel story with an inspirational message for children

A greedy squirrel is the star of an outrageously fun new book by Harrogate author Rory Ffoulkes.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 4:10 pm

Sarah The Spectacular Squirrel, which is beautifully illustrated by Irene Silvino, is a bedtime story book for primary school-aged children.

The book - which has been published by I & G Press - is about a greedy squirrel with a dazzling talent for collecting nuts who learns important lessons about sharing.

But, on a deeper level, the story holds up a mirror to elements of society that put the pursuit of super-wealth and personal gain ahead of civilised values, like caring for others, fairness and helping the less fortunate.

Rory said: “First and foremost, Irene and I wanted to create a truly fun book that primary school-age children would love.

“One which their parents, grandparents and so forth will really enjoy reading to them out loud.

“But there’s undoubtedly a message in there for children and adults alike inspired by Gandhi’s quote ‘In a gentle way, you can shake the world’; and the idea that we all have it in our power to improve the world we live in, even if in very small ways.”

Rory - who lives in Spofforth - came up with the story of Sarah The Spectacular Squirrel while putting his eldest daughter, Issy, to bed one night four years ago.

The story was received so enthusiastically - first by Issy and then by her younger sister, Georgia - that Rory decided to start exploring the possibility of transforming it into an illustrated children’s book.

He scoured the internet for an illustrator that would be the perfect fit for his story and began collaborating with the much sought-after Irene Silvino in January 2020, in the period before the first UK Covid lockdown.

Technology and a determination to get the book published allowed Rory and Irene to continue working on their book without significant disruption.

A large international commercial publisher made an offer in autumn 2020, but Rory and Irene instead chose to publish with the independently-minded I & G Press.

Sarah The Spectacular Squirrel is available to buy from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3jtFuZ1 for £6.99.