Whipped cream sheep and yoghurt rivers can be found in the magical world of one Horsham mum’s new ‘mirrored’ children’s book which she hopes the community will help her publish.
Inspired by her favourite story Alice in Wonderland, 41-year-old Tara Cresswell, from Rusper Road, created ‘A Sweet Adventure’ to enable two children to read a book easier together and is now hoping to raise enough money to make her idea a reality.
“The book is completely unique,” explained Tara, who has three sons - Milo, 5, and identical twins Donnie and Hugo, 2.
“It’s a very different design where the pages are mirrored on either side so as you’re reading to them, they’re reading exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.”
She decided to make a couple of mock-up copies for the twins and for friends which then saw her idea escalate.
However, despite having taken a dummy version to agents who have praised the concept of the book, difficulty and lack of funds has left her unable to approach a publisher.
Instead, Tara put her idea on creative project funding website ‘Kickstarter’ and in just four days, the project gathered 30 per cent of the total needed.
“It’s really bizarre that it’s taken off but the project really needs to get out there and people need to know about it too,” she continued.
“It’s difficult because when you feel passionately about something, which I do, you can lose sight of its value.
“You may think it’s wonderful, but it doesn’t mean to say that everyone else will so to find that other people, and people I don’t even know, are pledging on it I’m just blown away and really humbled by it.”
The story is written in rhyme and colourfully illustrated symmetrically spread across a double page by Bristol-based artist Loch Ness after she stumbled across his ‘contemporary’ work online.
“I’ve never met him, but he’s really mysterious and has been labelled as kind of the Banksy of the children’s world,” said Tara, who has previously worked as a children’s therapist writing a lot of creative resources for young people.
“It was exactly what I wanted and he’s cleverly made it look like a very long landscape of colour and imagery so it doesn’t look disjointed.”
Based on her twins Donnie and Hugo, who appeared in BBC Drama Call The Midwife when they were babies, the book is about two boys, Oogie and Boo, who enter into a magical world of all things delicious.
“They discover whipped cream sheep, swim in yoghurt rivers and they’re taken home on a giant bee for bed and tea and to have magical dreams,” added the mum-of-three, who also does fine art and charcoal drawings herself.
“I basically wrote it for my boys and when I read it to them they absolute loved it and it worked brilliantly.”
The book is also being backed by a Kingslea Primary School and Heron Way Primary School in Horsham.
“What I’m going to do it donate books to them and go in and do group reading for them as a published author if it gets the go ahead,” she said.
“I’m trying to give something back to the community as well by a way of saying thank you and I’ll do that for any school or centre who wants to take that on.”
Tara’s project needs at least £2,600 to be pledged by Sunday, November 3 at 7pm.
“I have also written the second book, ‘A Veggie Adventure’ and am working on ‘A Fruity Adventure’, so should A Sweet Adventure progress I will get these two books underway as well,” she said.
“If I reach my fund goal, which is doing well at the moment, then everyone will receive what they pledged for but if it doesn’t reach the goal I don’t get anything and the book doesn’t get published.”
Jason Sparks, a friend of Tara’s who runs workshops for people with disabilities and learning difficulties, created the attached video to help with the project.
For more information or to pledge your support, visit www.kickstarter.com and search for ‘A Sweet Adventure’.