Sunderland seagulls star in new children's book by local author

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The third book about the adventures of a Sunderland seagull is set to soar.

Stanley the Seagull has been the star of two previous children’s books by author Pauline Waters, which depict his adventures in Roker and Seaburn as well as his love of SAFC as he gets a bird’s eye view of the action at the Stadium of Light.

Author Pauline Waters has released her third Stanley the Seagull book "A Week in the Life of Stanley".Author Pauline Waters has released her third Stanley the Seagull book "A Week in the Life of Stanley".
Author Pauline Waters has released her third Stanley the Seagull book "A Week in the Life of Stanley". | Sunderland Echo

Now, the great grandmother, who lives off Chester Road, has released a third book about the loveable seabird which charts a week in his life.

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Illustrated by University of Sunderland art student Samantha Tweddle, it follows Stanley as he views The Salty Birds sea swimmers, soars over The Coffee Hut on the prom, flying past Roker Lighthouse and the dolphins and checking out a litter pick along the beach, before he heads home with food for his family at a nest near the Cat and Dog Steps.

The Salty Birds sea dippers, illustrated by Samantha Tweddle for the book.The Salty Birds sea dippers, illustrated by Samantha Tweddle for the book.
The Salty Birds sea dippers, illustrated by Samantha Tweddle for the book. | sn

Interwoven into the book, which can be self read by ages eight and over, are Mackem colloquialisms, a subtle message of the importance of looking after our coastline, as well as blank pages for children to add their own seagull drawings.

Pauline, a former Farringdon Infant School teacher, was inspired to write her stories by her grandchildren who would often draw seagulls for their grandma.

“I decided to take another slant on the story of Stanley for this third book, which has more text than the previous two,” she said. “I commissioned Samantha to do the illustrations and she did them brilliantly.”

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Stanley soaring over The Coffee Hut where the book is sold.Stanley soaring over The Coffee Hut where the book is sold.
Stanley soaring over The Coffee Hut where the book is sold. | Sunderland Echo

The previous books have struck a chord with Mackems, and Pauline has even sent copies as far afield as New Zealand and Australia to ex-Pats.

“Everyone who buys them says they’re wonderful,” she said. “And for older people it often brings back happy memories of being at the seafront.

“For children, they find Stanley very relatable because he always goes home to his family and says night night to them.”

Sunderland author Pauline is inspired by her love of Roker and SeaburnSunderland author Pauline is inspired by her love of Roker and Seaburn
Sunderland author Pauline is inspired by her love of Roker and Seaburn | Sunderland Echo

Pauline has received support for her writing from The Word in South Shields where she attends writers’ sessions.

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She also goes into schools to tell the story of Stanley, such as Dame Dorothy School, Barnes Junior School, Kids Planet nursery and St Bede’s in Jarrow.

All her books raise funds for St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope, which relies heavily on donations to offer its specialist palliative care.

*A Week In The Life of Stanley is priced £7.99. It’s available at The Coffee Hut on the promenade and Sue’s Cafe, who also both sell postcards of the illustrations. The book is also available at Green Bean and Carnival House in Southwick, Sea Road Post Office, National Glass Centre and the ALS shop in Sheepfolds.

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