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Beatrix Potter - How this British Author & Illustrator inspired me to write my children’s books



As a young girl growing up in a Yorkshire mining town, we never had a garden or somewhere to play around my home, so as soon as I got the chance, I would head off to the park where the swings, slides and roundabout were.

I would wrap up some jam sandwiches, or cream crackers and a bottle of water, and once there would sit on the grass listening to the birds, and watching the various rabbits, ladybirds and squirrels darting about. Then sitting on the swings I would make it go as high as I could and imagine that I was flying. I was free, and all the little creatures wandering about in the grass or running across the playing field would become my friends. I eventually found out quite by accident, that I could ‘talk’ with them all. Asking them all sorts of questions, like where did they live, did they like living in the park, and other things that would pop into my mind.




It wasn’t until much later on that I discovered Beatrix Potter, and unlike most people, it wasn’t Peter Rabbit that became my favourite, it was Jemima Puddle-duck. I think I felt a bit like Jemima, out of my depth, listening to others and being told what to do, trying to fly away, but never getting discouraged, I was always determined to do things my way.

This is how I found Beatrix Potter, and over the years, I have collected her books and visited the World of Beatrix Potter attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere. Unlike Beatrix I have never been an artist or illustrator, but my connection with wildlife and animals was always there as a child.


This has over the years spurred me on to create my own children’s books - Fingley World, where various creatures, humans and other ‘beings’ exist with a little bear called DODL – whose name means Doing Ordinary Deeds Lovingly.



In a similar way to Jemima Puddle-duck, I have been determined to make a difference to the world, in that I believe that children should be allowed to have the freedom to play, to sing and to run free before the years of adulthood and responsibility come upon them.

Beatrix Potter knew her characters and in her mind they came alive, so too with me. My characters speak to me and let me know how they want themselves to appear in my stories.



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