Ex-Hebburn pupil returns to former primary school to promote his first book
An author who put pen to paper to create a storybook for his granddaughter is seeing his tale go worldwide.
John Grieves had no idea when he wrote Sofia Lily Rose And Her Magical Prose, that it would become a hit with youngsters.
The mechanical engineer had taken to writing the book - featuring his granddaughter - in a bid to help boost her confidence.
As well as taking his story around schools in Liverpool, where he is currently living, he also returned to his native Hebburn, to read to youngsters at his old primary school.
Playing out the characters in his book, 184 pupils, from St Aloysious Primary School in Hebburn, heard the tale of Sofia Lily Rose and her dog Koby, and also had the chance to meet Koby himself.
Mr Grieves said: “It was fantastic going back to my old Primary School. It is 50 years since I left. My mam, Julie Devine, also went to the school came with me. We were shown around the school.
“The children were brilliant, they came into the hall and they were laughing. For each of the characters I put a different hat on, they really enjoyed it.
“And all 184 children had the chance to meet Koby too.”
The book is filled with positive messages about the importance of being kind and protecting the environment.
It is based on Sofia Lily Rose’s ability to talk to animals after a chance encounter with a toy fairy which she helped come to life by giving her a magical silver ring.
A donation from each book is being given to Smile Train - charity which raises awareness and supports children with cleft lip and palate.
The book is now being actively promoted on their website globally.
Mr Grieves added: “All I wanted was to leave a little legacy for my granddaughter. She is so timid and shy, I thought writing a book with her as the main character would help boost her confidence.
“I wanted to leave her with something that she could read to her grandchildren.
“We were in a cafe in Liverpool when she said a little girl was looking at her. The little girl came over and said she recognised her from the book and asked if she would sign a copy.
“She was really taken aback and couldn’t believe it. The book is helping to bring smiles to children’s faces in so many ways.”
Mr Grieves, who has travelled the world with his job, aims to continue with his writing and create a series of adventures featuring Sofia Lily Rose and her dog Koby based in the variety of countries he has lived in over the years with his family.
The book, which has been made into an audio book, can be bought by visiting www.tangerinepoetry.co.uk