Swindon teacher pens book during lockdown

By Jessica Durston - 7 December 2021

EducationPrimaryArts and Culture
  • Sarah Louise (right) and Amy with a copy of Meet The Grubblers

    Sarah Louise (right) and Amy with a copy of Meet The Grubblers

A teacher at Noremarsh Junior School will release her first children's book 'Meet The Grubblers', next week.

Christmas has come early for first-time author Sarah Louise, who is a Year 5 teacher at Noremarsh Junior School in Royal Wootton Bassett.

Her first children's book, 'Meet The Grubblers' will be published on Monday, 13 December.

Sarah Louise, who has been teaching at Noremarsh for seven years, says she has dreamt about writing this book for years. She said lockdown was the event that finally gave her the time and inspiration to bring her characters to life.

With the help of Teaching Assistant Amy Ashworth, Sarah has written an enchanting story with magical characters on a quest to reclaim their woodland home.

Meet The Grubblers focuses on a little girl who uses imaginary adventures to escape the reality of lockdown.

Sarah said of the book: “I’ve written short stories for years. I started writing this book ages ago and then over lockdown I really just went for it and adapted it a little bit to incorporate the lockdown.

"Basically, it’s about a little girl called Emily at the start of Lockdown and it is the imaginary world that she goes into to help her manage. But it isn’t really an imaginary story because the lockdown really happened to her didn’t it?"

The first of three books, Sarah says the characters are all based on little personalities that she has met over the years.

She added: “The first book travels back to the Victorian times, the Grubblers are the main characters really, they are these funny little men and women who ended up losing the rites to their woodland home years ago and now want it back. The girl, Emily, is on a different quest but fate pushes them together and although they have different aims the Grubblers try to use the girl to get to their end."

Each book will have a different setting with the second book focusing on deforestation. Sarah explained that the second book will see the characters visit the rainforest, trying to persuade people not to ruin the world. They aim to be educational topics.

She continued: "I’ve done a bit of research and there’s very few books about Romans so I’m going to send them back to Italy for the third book, there will be quite a lot of facts in the books as well."

When asked how Amy became involved in the book's creation, Sarah said: “Well I wanted an illustrator, Amy is fab at art and we just happened to be going on the Daily Mile at school one day and I said I didn’t want to use the in-house illustrator and Amy offered to do the drawings."

Amy has a background in art, graphics and fine art from University. She said: “I’ve never done anything like this before and I think it was the biggest challenge I’ve ever done, because to read a book and to then do drawings of what you think the author wants them to look like was quite a big pressure.

“The first Grubbler I drew was similar to my husband, and then the final one’s like my dad. So, I got there in the end of how he needed to look, Sarah would come back and say he needs to be a bit chubbier and grubbier and or his nose needs to be a bit more squashed like a troll.

“Doing the book with Sarah just felt like a bit of team work there wasn’t a lot of pressure, we just did it together and it felt really right, I would love to do more."

With two more books in the pipeline Amy says she is looking forward to using her drawing skills again in the near future.

Sarah added: “I’m busily writing the next one, it will feature the same characters but will be a longer book featuring more of Amy’s wonderful illustrations throughout.”

Meet the Grubblers is aimed at primary school children with something to offer both younger and older readers. It will be available to buy online from Amazon, Waterstones and Foyles from Monday, 13 December for £8.99. The book's ISBN is 978-1-80042-158-5.

Noremarsh Junior School is part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust.

More information on the school can be found at www.noremarsh.wilts.sch.uk

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