“Bristol’s countryside was definitely a source of inspiration for the book,” says Will Hamilton-Davies, the author of a new children’s picture book.
Will, who lives in south Bristol, has written his debut rhyming book, The Shrew with the Flu.
“My protagonist might not be a shrew if I hadn’t heard and seen the adorable little mammals throughout my childhood,” says the author, who grew up in Chew Magna and has four siblings.
“Hopefully, local folk can draw similarities between the mindful, endearing qualities of The Shrew with the Flu and villages around rural Somerset.”
Illustrated by Jennifer Davidson and releasing on Tuesday, October 6, the book is a product of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was surreal to see stories covering things like the mass-purchasing of toilet rolls and the ways we could act in the best interests of our loved ones circulating in the news just as I was writing a book about a greedy shrew who learns the importance of compassion, moderation and nurturing the environment after eating an entire forest,” says Will.
“The uncanniness spurred me on in my quest to see families meet the lovable fluff-pot that is Shrew.”
The story of Shrew, written in rhyming verse has been praised by David Litchfield, author The Bear and The Piano, and Bristol-based author Amanda Prowse.
The Shrew with the Flu will be available to purchase at Waterstones and Foyles, as well as Berry Barn in Farrington Gurney, Better Food at Wapping Wharf and at the Chew Valley Lake Salt & Malt.
Jo Newman, headmistress of Clifton College Pre-Preparatory School says: “The Shrew with the Flu has easily become one of my ‘go to’ stories.
“It is thought provoking, empowering and has an especially relevant focus on the environment. There are so many aspects of this story to explore.”
The Shrew with the Flu is released on October 6.
All photos: Will Hamilton-Davies