French cycling trip inspires children’s adventure story

Laura Hopkins and her partner Rik van den Bosch, who have written and illustrated  a children's book following a cycling holiday in France. It will raise money for Syrian refugees - picture submitted
Laura Hopkins and her partner Rik van den Bosch, who have written and illustrated a children's book following a cycling holiday in France. It will raise money for Syrian refugees - picture submitted
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A trip to France inspired a woman to write a book about her adventures - and raise funds for Syrian refugees.

Laura Hopkins, 28, wrote the children’s book The Treasure in Avignon as a Christmas gift for her young nieces and nephews, who live in Burgess Hill. She has even named some of the characters after them.

The book was inspired by a summers cycling holiday to Avignon with her partner Rik van den Bosch, who has illustrated each of the pages.

During their trip, the couple were inspired by the famous incomplete bridge in Avignon, and decided to use it as the beginnings of their story book, which sees three friends venturing out on bicycles to find a long-hidden treasure.

Characters include a hedgehog, an ostrich, a shark, a pig, two turtles, and a rat, who take the names of Laura’s nieces and nephews; the baddies in the story are named after their parents.

Ms Hopkins said: “We faced so many of the inevitable challenges that come from being exposed to the elements all day – we had to laugh and use our imaginations to deal with situations like being caught up in storms. Eventually, we had so many of these mini-adventures, that it became the inspiration of our children’s book.”

The couple decided to donate the book’s profits to Proactiva Open Arms, a charity that has sent a lifeboat to Greece to help the safe passage of Syrian refugees.

The book priced £7 is available to order from www.healthystartholidays.com

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