Retired Sheffield teacher launches children’s book

Author Jan Hedge,left, publisher Rob Bowden and illustrator Jess Thomas at the launch of their book Tommy, at Cantor Atrium. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Author Jan Hedge,left, publisher Rob Bowden and illustrator Jess Thomas at the launch of their book Tommy, at Cantor Atrium. Picture: Andrew Roe.
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A retired Sheffield teacher has finally fulfilled a lifelong ambition with the release of her first book.

Jan Hedge, of Ecclesall, officially launched her children’s book, Tommy, at a special event in Sheffield Hallam University

The 59-year-old, who taught at Dobcroft Junior School, Millhouses, for 14 years, started working on the book three years ago.

However, it was not until her son’s girlfriend, Jess Thomas, started creating illustrations for the book that it really came to life.

Jan said: “We were staying in a windmill on holiday.

“Jess is studying illustrative art at Loughborough University and I told her about my idea for a book.

“By the end of the day we had a picture of Tommy.

“When she started drawing him I started to feel him come to life.

“Tommy is the story of a little boy who is anxious about most things.

“He uses the power of imagination and in his own mind he tackles real things like oceans, lions and baddies and becomes more brave.

“It is a way of encouraging children to think deeply about things they don’t normally think about.”

Schoolchildren were invited to Tuesday’s launch where they took part in art and philosophy workshops with Jan and Jess.

The book is now available to buy along with educational resources for schools.

Jan said: “I am passionate about children’s literature and read with my own children. I believe in the power of the story as a way for children to develop their own imaginations and creativity. Reading is important. Even with little children, who can’t read, telling them stories with pictures is important.”

n Visit www.tommy.lifeworldslearning.co.uk