Sunderland author’s stories delight children in Gambia

Gambian children with books sent by Sunderland-based Popple's Tales.
Gambian children with books sent by Sunderland-based Popple's Tales.
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A CHILDREN’S author brought joy to youngsters in Gambia when she sent her books over.

Laura Smith, 27, who runs Ryhope-based publishers Popple’s Tales, sent books to Gambia through her sister’s friend Marsha Langley, 22, from Sunderland.

Marsha Langley and Gambian chidren with books sent by Sunderland-based Popple's Tales.

Marsha Langley and Gambian chidren with books sent by Sunderland-based Popple's Tales.

Marsha travelled to Kajabang village to work in a primary school, where the kids got stuck into tales such as Riggle Giggle, who likes to learn something new everyday.

Laura c hose the books to send because they were suitable for all reading abilities, but an original choice - Smithbott and Chadle - about two naughty little witches was replaced due to local superstition.

Author and illustrator Laura said: “It was very exciting sending the books off but nothing compared to when I saw the first set of pictures of the children reading and sharing the books.

“It felt amazing that my books had gone so far and had created so many smiles.” Former Farringdon school pupil Laura started out as a personal trainer after studying sport at college, but took the plunge into the world of illustration and writing.

She was inspired by Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, but her favourite book as a child was Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark Little Bear by Norbert Landa, Kirsteen Harris-Jones.

Her first series of books were Mr Fhoo, who lives in the Forest of Woo and is in charge of all the other Fhoos.

Since then she has gone on to create a huge range of new characters.

Popple’s Tales will be running a Little Authors Course for all budding writers and story tellers through the Sunderland Libraries next month.

For more information, contact www.popplestales.co.uk.