A new children’s book has been launched to raise money for the North Wexford Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NWSPCA) and goes on sale today (20th October).
Called While You Were Sleeping, the book is set in the NWSPCA animal welfare centre in Gorey, Co. Wexford, and aims to engage children with the work of the charity and spread a message of the value of being kind to animals.
The book has been written by Caroline Kidd and illustrated by Petra Curtis. While You Were Sleeping is a charming tale of fun and friendship, featuring a familiar cast of cats and dogs, led by long-standing resident cat Tom ‘The Boss’, as they embark upon an unexpected adventure.
The story was inspired by author Caroline’s experience as an animal care volunteer with the charity. Caroline, who comes from Bunclody, is also a journalist, copywriter and the editor of the online motoring magazine Changing Lanes. While You Were Sleeping is her first book for children and combines her love of animals with a passion for storytelling.
Caroline teamed up with Petra Curtis, a graphic designer, illustrator and fellow animal lover, who runs The Design Nut graphic design studio in Glenmore, Co. Kilkenny, to get the book ready for publishing. Petra designed and illustrated the entire book, bringing the magical story alive through original, full colour, hand drawn illustrations.
Speaking about the launch of the new book, Caroline said: “I’m thrilled to be using my writing skills to tell the story of the animals at the NWSPCA animal welfare centre and raise money for a wonderful charity close to my heart that helps save hundreds of animals at risk every year through a team of hard working volunteers. I’m hopeful that this book will inspire the next generation of animal carers and spread a message to young people that it is cool to be kind to animals in our community and in our care.”
For illustrator Petra, the project was a dream come true: “When Caroline first mentioned her plan for creating a children’s book for the NWSPCA, I immediately wanted to help in some way. Animals have played a big part in my life and it has always been a dream of mine to illustrate a children’s book. All this combined with the fact that it was for such a wonderful cause – I couldn’t resist the project!”
She continued: “On first reading Caroline’s draft of the book, I was taken in by the wonderful personalities of the characters, the energy of the story and the morals hidden in many places throughout the story itself. Caroline has done a wonderful job of capturing the spirited nature of animals, and I think children will be fascinated by the story from the very beginning.”
Eimear McGrath, Chairperson, NWSPCA, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with Caroline’s new book. The idea of our animal shelter being featured in a children’s book is something we didn’t imagine happening. To see the end result and read about our beloved Tom (The Boss), is a joy to behold. We are delighted that our story is being told in such a beautifully worded and illustrated book as this. Caroline has been a wonderful volunteer with us for quite a while and we can’t thank her enough for creating this book and allowing it to be a fundraiser for the NWSPCA.”
The NWSPCA animal welfare charity was established in Gorey in 1947 and is managed by a team of volunteers who work all year round to rescue, rehabilitate and home as many animals as possible. All proceeds from the sale of the new children’s book will go to the NWSPCA to help save more animals at risk and the book has been created with no cost to the charity.
“I’m very grateful for the support I received from Petra who kindly illustrated this book and I wish to thank all of our stockists for helping us to sell our book. The response so far has been amazing,” said Caroline.
While You Were Sleeping will be on sale from the NWSPCA Charity Shop, Rafter Street, Gorey; Kavanagh’s Newsagents, Wexford Road, Arklow; Deegan’s, South Street, New Ross; The Village at Wheelocks, Finchogue, Enniscorthy; and Art Bank, Bunclody. Please check opening hours in light of Government guidance relating to the management of Covid-19. It’s also available to buy online through the NWSPCA Facebook page.