Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Giraffe in the Trees author Brendan McDonald with illustrator Martin Beckett

A LOCAL author has crafted his second children’s book featuring a heart-warming tale of facing your fears and friendship

***Giraffe in the trees*** is the second children’s book by Brendan McDonald, who lives in Carlow town. This beautiful story of friendship and facing your fears, set in Glendalough, shows that with a little help from our friends we can not only overcome our fears but even help others in the process!

“Having first visited Glendalough on a school tour, I was fascinated by the history of the site, the magnificent round tower and view over the two lakes as you look down from up among the trees,” said Brendan, who is originally from Laois.

Since then, Brendan has grown to love hiking in Glendalough and it was from his many hikes that inspiration for the book came.

“I always liked the idea of a giraffe, whose long neck blends into the trees overlooking the two lakes and the round tower below, and I wanted the story to reflect some of the scenes around Glendalough, especially the waterfall, the tower and, of course, the two lakes,” added Brendan.

The story follows Gerry the Giraffe, who lives in the trees above the lakes. Gerry has a secret – he can’t swim – and doesn’t want to tell any of the other animals. But when his friend Billy the Goat gets into difficulty on the lake, Gerry, assisted by his friends Molly the Mouse and Ben the Butterfly, must face his fear of the water to save the day!

“We all have fears that we have to overcome, especially when we are young; our friends can help us along the way in overcoming these fears and the story really resonates with that message,” said Brendan.

Some of the characters from his first book also feature in the second book.

“I wanted a link with the first book, so Olive the Owl once again features, as well as Gerry the Giraffe – so who knows, some of the characters in book two may also feature in book number three.”

Brendan was delighted to once again work with the very talented Donegal-based illustrator Martin Beckett, who also illustrated his first book.

“Working with Martin is easy and the process is now seamless. Martin’s talent and skill in bringing Gerry the Giraffe and his friends to life was invaluable and the beautiful illustrations really resonate with the young readers who, in turn, give lovely feedback,” said Gerry.

Twenty percent of net profits from the sale of ***Giraffe in the trees*** will be donated to Debra Ireland – the ‘butterfly skin’ charity.

One of the book’s main characters, Ben the Butterfly, is even modelled on the Debra butterfly logo. Debra Ireland was established to provide support services to patients and families living with the debilitating skin condition epidermolysis bullosa, while the charity also works on research into treatments and cures for those living with the condition.

Brendan is also very complimentary of Laois Local Enterprise Office, which helped with his website www.bedtimestory.ie.

The books is written, illustrated and printed in Ireland, something that was important to the author.

“This Christmas, we are all conscious of the Made in Ireland, Buy Irish and Shop Local movements, so bringing the book entirely to life in Ireland was certainly a prerequisite again on my publishing journey.”

The book is available at the Arboretum, Easons in Fairgreen, ‘Made in Carlow’ on Tullow Street, Rathwood and the Birdcage Cafe in Bagenalstown.

Brendan is already working on his third book, which he hopes to publish in 2022. For more information, check out Brendan’s website www.bedtimestory.ie, Bed Time Story Publishing.

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