Monday, September 12, 2022

A CARLOW children’s author has taken the bedtime drama of finding a beloved soft toy or blanket for inspiration for his latest book.

The Sheep Who Couldn’t Sleep is the third children’s book by Carlow-based author Brendan McDonald. This heart-warming bedtime story is common in so many households: where has a Teddy bear, toy or comfort blanket got to before bed.

“Having witnessed first-hand the bedtime drama of trying to find a favourite soft toy or comfort blanket and being involved in the ‘where did you last have it’ search, I was inspired to put the drama into a positive bedtime story that will resonate with kids and parents alike,” said Brendan, who lives in Graiguecullen but is originally from Killeen, Co Laois.

The story follows Sally the sheep, who is trying her best to go to sleep. But disaster strikes for Sally – she can’t find her best friend Ted, who always goes to sleep with her. She starts to recount all the places where Ted could have got to – including the farmyard, the zoo and even far away to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Key to any story is a talented illustrator and Brendan was delighted to once again work with the very talented Martin Beckett, who also illustrated his first two books.

Some of the characters from his first two books are also to be found in the third book.

Brendan said: “I wanted a link with all the books, so the eagle-eyed will spot Edward the Elephant, Olive the Owl, Gerry the Giraffe and Molly the Mouse once again, thanks to Martin’s creativity.”

Twenty per cent of nett profits from the sale of The Sheep Who Couldn’t Sleep will be donated to Embrace Farm – Farm Accident Support Network. The book will also be exhibited at this week’s ploughing championships in Ratheniska at the Laois County Council tent.

“Having almost lost an arm in a farming accident when I was seven years old, this charity really resonates with me personally. As a Laois man, I am very proud to support Laois-based charity Embrace Farm, whose vision is to be a caring, supportive community for all affected by farm accidents and traumas. As they do such amazing work, I wanted to donate from book sales,” Brendan said.

Brendan was delighted to get the support of Anna May McHugh, National Ploughing Association, who launched the partnership this week at the ploughing site with the help of Caroline Redmond, Embrace Farm’s encircle programme co-ordinator.

Brendan’s books are all written, illustrated and printed in Ireland. The book is beautifully printed by Modern Printers in Kilkenny.  It is on sale in Carlow at Made in Carlow, Tullow St

Arboretum Garden Centre and Rathwood. See more on Brendan’s website


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