New Swiss Cottage author publishes first illustrated children’s book

Julia Stebbing's new book, The Lost Smile: The Fabulous Five. Picture: Zuzanna Lipinska

Julia Stebbing's new book, The Lost Smile: The Fabulous Five. Picture: Zuzanna Lipinska - Credit: Archant

A 73-year-old Swiss Cottage woman has just published the first instalment in a five-part series of books.

Julia Stebbing, an NW3 resident for over 50 years, has just published The Lost Smile: The Fabulous Five, illustrated by Zuzanna Lipinska.

The 24-page picture book is a story of friendship and kindness, written in rhyming verse and aimed at children aged from four to seven.

READ MORE: Muswell Hill journalist’s Joan Baez biography celebrates singer who stood up for civil rightsJulia said The Lost Smile is “great for Christmas and a good book for parents to read to their children”.

The story follows Jasper the cat, who loses his smile and is helped by his four friends - Dora Dalmation, Mimi Mouse, Freddie Flea and Robbie Robin - who join him in his search to find it.

The story is “interesting and amusing”, accompanied by “beautiful illustrations that are sweet and a bit different”, said Julia.

She began writing five years ago - initially penning song lyrics as a hobby before creating short stories in free verse, and later turning to rhyming verse.

Calling it a learning process, Julia took the decision to turn her hobby into a business and refers to it as an ongoing project that she really enjoys.

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After five years, Julia has now published her first book as part of a series called The Fabulous Five via her own newly founded publishing company, Sticky Bun Publishing.

She said: “I opted for the self-publishing route to be in control.”

Julia found her illustrator and Amersham resident, Zuzanna, on the social networking site after reaching out for the role online.

She was also helped in the editing process, which she called “an eye-opening experience”, with the help of her two friends who were “honest and very, very capable”.

After 15 months of working together, the book is now published and there are other books still in the works that are due to be released.

With four other instalments in the pipeline, Julia says there may even be a possibility of another book to come out later this week.

The Lost Smile: The Fabulous Five is available to buy on Amazon for £6.99 in paperback edition or £4.99 for Kindle.

Find out more about Sticky Bun Publishing at