Laois author Brendan McDonald from Killeen has published his second children’s book Giraffe in the Trees just in time for the Christmas rush.
His first book Elephant on the Farm was self-published last winter.
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 over-come 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 amongst the trees,” said Brendan McDonald, a solicitor by profession who works for the IDA.
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” Brendan notes.
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” Brendan said.
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!!”
Key to any story is a talented illustrator and Brendan was delighted to once again work with the very talented Martin Beckett who illustrated his first book.
“Martin Beckett, based in Donegal, once again provides the illustrations for this 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”.
20% of net profits from the sale of Giraffe in the Trees will be donated to Debra Ireland – The Butterfly Skin Charity. One of the books 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 (EB).
“They also work on research into treatments and cures for those living with the condition. As they do such amazing work I wanted to make a donation from book sales” Brendan said.
Brendan is very complimentary of Laois Local Enterprise Office who helped with his website www.bedtimestory.ie.
“The Laois Local Enterprise Office really guided me through upgrading my website which now looks fantastic – I would highly recommend any small business to engage with your Local Enterprise Office as they will have advice that you may not have even thought of” recounts Brendan.
Brendan is very proud of the fact this book, like his debut book Elephant on the Farm, is once again written, illustrated and printed in Ireland.
“It was very important to me that ‘Giraffe in the Trees’ was again illustrated and printed in Ireland.
“Once again 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 pre-requisite again on my publishing journey”.
The book is beautifully printed by Modern Printers in Kilkenny.
See more on Brendan’s website www.bedtimestory.ie Bed Time Story Publishing.
Brendan McDonald is already working on his third book which he hopes to publish in 2022.
Giraffe in the Trees is available to purchase on Brendan’s website or in a selection of local book shops.