Alan and Chloë’s insight into creating A Puppy’s Tale

Book collaborators Alan Windram and Chloe Holwill-Hunter with a furry friend

Book collaborators Alan Windram and Chloe Holwill-Hunter with a furry friend

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Borders author Alan Windram – best known for his Mac And Bob books – has gone to the dogs in his new tome for children, A Puppy’s Tale.

Launched last Friday at the Flat Cat Gallery in Lauder, the book tells the story of Georgie the puppy, who, distracted by the hopping, jumping and scampering of his new pals the frog, the bunny and the squirrel, finds herself far from home and alone.

She definitely needs the help of another forest creature to get back home.

Alan, whose two Mac and Bob books, The Unexpected Visitor and The Party Problem has enthralled kids with their hilarious storylines and jaunty accompanying songs, keeps the simple, yet effective story structure for this new book.

For this book, Alan worked closely with a local illustrator, Chloë Holwill-Hunter.

At the launch, Alan – husband of former Southern Reporter editor Susan Windram – said: “It was a good experience working with Chloë.

“When you write a book, you have in your head an idea of how the character is supposed to look, so working with an illustrator is a very collaborative thing.

“And Chloë is so meticulous in how she works on and evolves a character until it’s just right.”

Chloë took the attendees at the launch through the painstaking journey each character in the book went through, showing her initial sketches through to the computer rendering of each animal, which included some rather manic rabbits and strange-looking amphibians (“I had never drawn a frog before”) before each one was just right.

She said of the titular pup: “I thought she might be a dachshund, but that didn’t quite work, so eventually I started drawing from a real-life dog from photos and she evolved into the Georgie that you can see in the book.”

She also explained how she was able to reflect the mood in the book, with steadily darker colours the further Georgie wandered from home, to the deep, threatening purples of the woods.

And also, how the colours reverted the other way as Georgie makes her way back home (of course she does).

Alan then played a song that will be available for download, which relates to the hopping and jumping about that distracted Georgie in the first place.

The book is available from the Flat Cat Gallery in Lauder, and other outlets, priced £5.99.