Cockapoo and pug inspire Hampstead author's debut children's book
- Credit: Ruth Craig
A Hampstead author and illustrator took inspiration from her pets and the chaos of family life when writing her debut children’s book.
Ruth Craig told the Ham&High that when her four now-teenage children were young, one of her "havens and sanctity and pleasures was reading them stories".
Her rhyming picture book, Enough Is Enough, follows her cockapoo, Cody, who came to the family as a badly-behaved rescue, and her pug Wilma.
“The story is about Cody learning, having to deal with challenges and coming right," she said. "And the reward is that Wilma the pug comes along in the end.”
Although releasing a book was tricky with bookshops closed, Ruth has been able to share it at school assemblies.
Joining Zoom calls from home meant she could show pupils the real dogs that inspired the story.
“That’s something that really seems to have resonated with a lot of kids," she said.
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"They say: ‘Really? Is it a true story?’
"And I say: ‘Absolutely it’s a true story!’”
In the the book’s copyright page, a note says: “This book is not a work of fiction.”
“All resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely intentional.”
She said the book is aimed at children aged three to seven, but there’s something in there for older kids, including a “doggy-pedia” which describes the personalities of different dog breeds.
The self-taught illustrator said the book could also help children who are fearful around dogs
"The more that you can introduce children to animals or experiences they haven’t perhaps encountered before, the better," she said.
“It’s a book for children who love dogs. It’s also a book for children who don’t love dogs.”
Ruth said she is passionate about children’s literacy. She hopes Enough Is Enough will help over-stretched parents support their kids’ reading.
She said: “There’s a story going on on every page, so it can stimulate the child and provoke discussion."
She added that the rhyming means “they anticipate the word that’s coming, so it improves language as well”.
“I’ve been told by teachers that it’s a good educational resource,” she said.