Stanley the Seagull's adventures in Sunderland and South Shields are subject of new children's book

A new children’s book looks set to soar as it follows the adventures of a seagull as he flies to landmarks in Sunderland, South Tyneside and Sydney.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 1:10 pm

Sunderland great-grandmother Pauline Waters, who lives off Chester Road, was inspired to write the book, Stanley The Seagull, by her great grandchildren’s drawings of the coastal seabird.

Like most Wearside children, Joshua,12; Lexie, 12; Erin, ten; Kieran, eight; Emilie, eight and Johnny, six, are all familiar with the animals and started making drawings of them for their grandma.

Former Farringdon Infant School teacher Pauline, 75, who has ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren, has long had a passion for sparking children’s imaginations.

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Author Pauline Walters with a copy of her first book.

She said: “The children were drawing seagulls going to places like the Cat and Dog Steps and South Shields for chips and along the way they called him Stanley.

“I decided to take photos of their drawings and make it into a booklet for them with the adventures in.”

After Pauline, who attends writers’ sessions at The Word in South Shields, created the booklets she decided to have a go at turning Stanley’s adventures into a book for all children to enjoy.

She contacted Sixth Element Publishing and illustrator Graeme Wilkinson and the result is a colourful book featuring local landmarks such as Marsden Rock and Roker Pier, as well as Stanley’s trips to the Great North Run, the Tall Ships Races and even a trip Down Under to Sydney.

Pauline Waters' grandchildren and great grandchildren

Pauline said: “The illustrator has done a great job of using the original drawings to create the illustrations, the children have complete ownership. “I gave them copies for Christmas and they loved spotting their pages. They’re amazed it’s a real book.

“We have a great love of reading and writing creatively in our family, as well as for Sunderland, and it’s so important for children to explore their imaginations.”

Stanley the Seagull will be launched at the Museum and Winter Gardens on Saturday, February 8 between noon and 2pm where copies of the book, priced £7.99, will be available.

It will also be available to buy online at Waterstones and Amazon and in person at Sue’s Cafe in Roker.

Author Pauline Walters with a copy of her first book. Picture by FRANK REID
Stanley watching Mo Farah at the Great North Run in a scene from the book