Fairies fight over petals in debut book illustrated by St Albans mum

PUBLISHED: 13:56 15 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 15 January 2019

Catherine Mead from St Albans has illustrated a children's book. Picture: Hillary Childs

Catherine Mead from St Albans has illustrated a children's book. Picture: Hillary Childs

Archant

An art teacher from St Albans has made her debut as an illustrator for a newly-released children's book.

Catherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine MeadCatherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine Mead

Catherine Mead, 43, who teaches art three days a week at Watford Grammar School for Girls, was approached by a colleague to collaborate on ‘The Fairy Who Wouldn’t Give Up’ by Amanda Eamer, which is the story of a fairy named Ashleigh looking for a flower to wear to the ball.

She said: “Debbie Brown, who teaches food tech, said her friend had written a book and asked me if I’d be interested. I hadn’t done anything like that before so I said I’d give it a go.

“We got together and Amanda showed me her book and said she was really keen to get published.”

Catherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine MeadCatherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine Mead

Catherine, who lives in Thirlmere Drive and has two sons, 10-year-old Oliver and seven-year-old John, has a degree in fashion and textiles and was able to apply her years of art experience to the task.

She said: “I’ve never done any illustration before so it was something quite new to me. I wasn’t too worried as it was a children’s book.

“It’s about lots of fairies who live in Fairydell woods, and they all want to get a dress for the ball, and the ball is very important because the prince will be choosing a bride.

Catherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine MeadCatherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine Mead

“He obviously has his eyes on Ashleigh who’s the main character.

According to the blurb, the other fairies try to sabotage Ashleigh to make sure there are no flowers left for her.

Catherine said: “She has to try to persuade a flower called Mrs Foxglove to give up her petals so she can make a dress.”

Catherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine MeadCatherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine Mead

Asheligh must get the petals to Mrs Webb before midnight, so she can use her thread to transform them into a gown for the ball.

Catherine said: “My favourite illustration was of an owl with two babies. It was just good fun. I enjoyed trying to figure out what to do for each part of the story. It was nice and bright and lively and colourful.”

Although Catherine has no immediate plans to illustrate anything else, she is not ruling out the possibility.

Catherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine MeadCatherine Mead's illustrations for 'The Fairy Who Wouldn't Give Up'. Picture: Catherine Mead

She said: “Amanda is going to see how this book goes - I think she’s written a second one and would be interested in doing this again. I’d be open to offers but there’s nothing in the pipeline as yet.”

The book is available on Amazon from Monday, January 28.

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