In 2009 I was on holiday in Hong Kong. My bedroom, on the 22nd floor, had a window from where I could see right across Hong Kong Harbour. It was from this room that I first saw the Star Ferries, looking just like bobbins in a weaving loom as they crossed the harbour to and fro all day. I thought about how my Grandsons would love to see this view.
So, with that in mind, I was inspired to write some stories for 3-7 year olds about what I saw from my high vantage point. Although they all have the same shape, I was inspired to give each ferry a character to make the stories of more interest to children. I bought a scrapbook and wrote the tales using the ferries’ real names as inspiration for each storyline and drew some simple sketches as illustrations. On my return the stories were read to my Grandsons with great success.
Nearly six years later I have found an excellent illustrator in Emma and now the published book is the result of my original words and her illustrations, which have very successfully replaced my simple sketches.
When Diane Greenaway was a Primary School teacher, she delighted in introducing children to the joy of listening and reading. A visit to Hong Kong inspired her to write these stories, producing a scrap book full of simple pictures and handwritten stories to be read to her grandsons. Her son, Richard, encouraged her to make ‘Ferry Tales’ more available to other children.
Illustrator Emma Shepherd is a 2D Animator/Illustrator and recent graduate, with a First Class BA (Hons) in Animation. She enjoys using vivid colours, and blurring the lines between hand-drawn and digital, to make her images memorable. www.shepherdanimations.com
When you first see the Star Ferries of Hong Kong you may think they are just a fleet of boats, but when you read Ferry Tales you will change your mind as the Star Ferry Family comes to life.
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