Bumble Big Ears and a Boy Called Eddie tells of a young mute boy’s imaginary adventures with a rabbit. It will be sold to raise money for Dolittle’s, which offers animal-assisted healing to adults and children in the Island.
Dolittle’s is supported by children’s parties and private fundraising. Its dream is to one day have its own centre.
Sandy Huyton founded the charity in 2009 and has written the book, based loosely on a couple of children she knows.
She approached the Department of Education and Children’s Services for Children to provide illustrations and has toured the 10 primary special needs units with her animals, speaking to children and gathering drawings.
Eighty children had a hand in the drawings and the most suitable of them have been selected for inclusion in the book, which is being launched at The Strand shopping centre in Douglas on Saturday 3 November at 11.30am.
All the drawings submitted will be on show at The Strand on the launch day and on Thursday 1, Friday 2, Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 November between 11.30am and 4.30pm, when some of the units will enjoy group visits to see their work displayed.
‘We were starting to get phone calls from schools inviting us in, as animal-assisted therapy can, in some cases, help children with special needs.
‘I have a son, aged 15, with special needs and so I already had connections with Services for Children.
‘I thought it would be lovely for children from the primary units to be part of the project, giving them the opportunity to bring out a creative side and encouraging positive feelings and self esteem.’
Sandy said that when she and her illustrator, Alex McPherson, sat down to sift through the drawings they ‘giggled and laughed’ at how imaginative they were.
‘The children have shown great creativity and I want them to be proud of their work,’ she said.
The book is priced £6.99. Sandy is donating a copy to each of the primary units.
For more information on Dolittle’s, ring Sandy on +44 7624 413921 or email firstname.lastname@example.org