Lewes author Julian Warrender launches her fourth illustrated children’s book, The Railway Land Dogs’ Club – Three Further Tails, with a series of free readings and workshops at The Hearth Pizzeria in Lewes.
Julian, who is also the founder of Ouse Valley Foods, is running the workshops in conjunction with an exhibition of artwork by the book’s illustrator Lyndsey Smith during Artwave.
A long-standing believer in the power and importance of reading and writing, Julian regularly gives readings at schools and children’s groups in the area.
She said: “The opportunity to launch the book in tandem with an exhibition of Lyndsey’s work is really exciting.
“Hopefully at the workshops we’ll inspire a few children to both get reading, and pick up their paintbrushes, particularly as it contains colouring-in elements.”
Julian’s latest book is the second in the Railway Land series, and as with the first, Ivy’s Lost Ball, the Lewes nature reserve provides the inspiration, and setting, for the narrative.
The stories aim to capture the enchanting wilderness of the Railway Lands while teaching children to observe and respect this natural asset through a dog’s tales.
The idea came to Julian after she moved near the reserve and began to take her dog Ivy on daily walks there.
“It’s a beautiful wild space right in the heart of Lewes,” said Julian.
“Whether I’m thinking about new recipes for my other life at Ouse Valley Foods, or having adventures with Ivy, which provide the spur for the tales, I never tire of it.”
She continued: “The book is a collection of three tales, which look at the lives of the ‘club members’, but it also investigates the interesting history of the area before it became a reserve.
“This is really surprising, and includes a few fascinating characters, both human and canine.”
The new book marks Julian’s third collaboration with Lewes artist Lyndsey Smith, whose work has brought the stories to life. A well-respected artist, primarily working in watercolours, Lyndsey was commissioned by Westminster Abbey to design a Christmas card and advent calendar in 2015. Her painting was voted favourite at The Weald of Sussex Art Club Exhibition in 2015.
She was elected as a full member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in 2016.
The dates of the workshop and readings are Saturday, August 27; Monday, August 29 and Saturday, September 3. Sessions take place from 12.30pm to 2.30pm (free) at The Hearth Pizzeria, Eastgate Street (opposite Waitrose), Lewes.
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