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Childhood is inspiration for first book

PUBLISHED: 06:30 23 October 2016

James Garner from Ditchingham has written and illustrated his first children's book. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

James Garner from Ditchingham has written and illustrated his first children's book. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2016

An artist from Ditchingham has written and illustrated his first children's book.

James Garner is a painter and decorator by trade and has just released Bob and the River of Time, a educational picture book, which has been five years in the making.

It focuses on Bob, an ordinary man from Grumbledown Lodge, who gets in his rowing boat and begins an enlightening adventure.

The book takes the reader on a journey throughout the seasons paying attention to the different plants and creatures that might be encountered at varying times of the year.

After the story Mr Garner invites children to look at the entire ‘cast and crew’ with pictures and information about more than 100 animals and different types of nature that feature. He also encourages youngsters to see how many they can spot throughout their reading by giving clues to what is hiding on each page.

Mr Garner, who moved to Ditchingham in January, spent much of his childhood in Maidstone, Kent, where he lived in a rundown water mill, which his father converted.

That, coupled with a book about the weather produced by his mother where he and his sister played the starring roles, provided the inspiration for his first book.

The 38-year-old has worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, and has had some of his pencil portraits included in exhibitions.

He said: “I wanted to produce something with a really positive outlook. Bob is very calm and accepting of everything that is happening to him. Funnily enough I didn’t originally set out to include all the creatures at the back, it was just something that evolved and when I started I couldn’t stop.

“It took me five years to do the book as I’ve been working in the meantime. The book itself took me two days to write, but the illustrations took five years in my spare time. I’m hoping to do some spin off stories about some of the characters.

“It’s funny as I’m always very critical about my work, but I am proud of the achievement of getting it published.”

Bob and the River of Time is available online at Amazon and Waterstones and will be coming soon to Beccles Books.

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