10:55AM, Friday 14 February 2020
A Maidenhead schoolteacher has had his first children’s book published.
Eric Brutnall, a year six teacher at St Edmund Campion, had his picture book The Hope Star published on Friday, January 31.
Children at the school in Altwood Road have been reading The Hope Star, and he gave his class snippets before it was published.
When he turned 40, Eric told himself that he would write a book before he reached his 50s but, at only 41, he has reached his target.
He said: “I have been a teacher for nearly 20 years. Through your lessons, over time, you make up stories.
“This kind of idea had been brewing for a couple of years.”
The book, for three to seven-year-olds, explains what stars are and how they work, and follows the brightest star – the titular ‘hope star’.
The star arrives on a planet resembling Earth and sees that all the people are grey and shadowy, so it helps to bring hope back to the planet and restores its colour.
Eric said: ”I told my class I was writing a book and I got little snippets from the publisher, like the front cover and artwork and shared it with them. They have been on the journey with me a little bit.
“They are becoming teenagers so for some of them it’s a bit babyish but they are quite excited that I have written a book.
“It’s spurred them on a little bit, given them some inspiration.
“It’s nice with the younger kids too. I have read little bits to some of them and have been to their classes to answer questions about it.”
Eric is now working on a second title, which will have a focus on the environment.
He added that children constantly come up to him at school with ideas for a follow-up.
The Hope Star is published by Austin Macauley and is available at Amazon, Waterstones and Foyles.
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