Hoppy day as hare book gets set to hit the county’s schools

(L to R) Brenda Gostling, Author; Jonathan Nice, Educator Solutions; Carl Lamb, Almary Green; Mik Ri

(L to R) Brenda Gostling, Author; Jonathan Nice, Educator Solutions; Carl Lamb, Almary Green; Mik Richardson, Artist. - Credit: Archant

A Norwich author is donating a copy of her new 'hare-brained' children's book to every infant, primary and junior school in the county.

Three hundred and fifty-five copies of Sister Poppy at the Front by Brenda Gostling, which launched yesterday at the Forum in Norwich, will be distributed to the school thanks to sponsor Almary Green - a Norwich-based financial advisers firm.

Almary Green's Carl Lamb presented a ceremonial copy of her book to Jonathan Nice, from Educator Solutions at Norfolk County Council, at the launch of the book in the Forum's Millennium Library.

The book covers a day in the life of Sister Poppy, a hare who is a nurse on the front line during the First World War.

Much of the narrative in Sister Poppy at the Front is based on primary research done by Ms Gostling into the life of Katherine Luard who worked as a nurse on the Western Front until December 1918.

Mr Lamb was enthusiastic about giving the books to local schools and teaching them about the war in an appropriate manner.

He said: 'The people who served in WW1 played an enormous part in building the world we live in today - it's vital that children are told about that important stage in our history.'

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Mr Lamb highlights that the book is geared more towards a younger generation as it views the war from a caring, rather than a military perspective.

Many of those involved in the production and distribution of the book have a personal connection to the military forces; Ms Gostling's grandfather served in the Norfolk Regiment during the First World War and the book's illustrator Mik Richardson and Mr Lamb have both served in the Royal Air Force.

The protagonist is inspired by Poppy the GoGoHare, a sculpture commissioned by Almary Green and designed by Mr Richardson for the GoGoHares 2018 Trail starting on June 24.

The Millenium Library is also currently playing host to Norfolk's Poppy Project, a craft project to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice and all those from Norfolk who died as a result of the war.

Poppy Project coordinator Sarah Salmon said: 'I hope we'll be able to organise story corner readings of this book during the summer holidays alongside some poppy-making craft.'