Retired teacher prompts children to care for planet

Author Andrew Bickerton with illustrator Sue Kingston
Author Andrew Bickerton with illustrator Sue Kingston

A Great Massingham man is releasing a children’s book to educate youngsters about the “life cycle of a seemingly insignificant thing”.

Retired teacher Andrew Bickerton is launching his children’s book LEAF at Great Massingham Village Hall on Wednesday, October 18.

LEAF, which is illustrated by Sue Kingston, tells the story of a single sycamore leaf’s life cycle, from its budding to it falling from its tree branch.

With an aim to show how the “life cycle of a seemingly insignificant things, such as a leaf, adds to the whole sustainability of life on our planet”, the author hopes to encourage youngsters to care about the environment.

Mr Bickerton, who taught English at St Clement’s High School (Terrington), said: “I decided to write LEAF last year after watching a leaf blowing around in our surgery’s car park. It was a dead leaf but looked so alive. I am very concerned that our children are increasingly divorced from the environment and reading for pleasure and hope this may inspire younger readers.”

Having written and directed a number of pantomimes and other amateur productions for Great Massingham villagers in the past, this is Mr Bickerton’s first experience in publishing a book.

He added: “I have self-published the book with support from Authorhouse UK and Biddles Books of King’s Lynn. The book is suitable for five to 10-year-olds with a reading age of seven and over.”

LEAF can be bought from Mr Bickerton at the launch at Great Massingham Village Hall on Wednesday, October 18, from 5pm to 7pm. The children’s book costs £6.50.

“To begin with LEAF will be available from me but following the book launch I will be offering it to local independent book sellers and local environment groups,” said Mr Bickerton. “Books sold at the October 18 launch will cost £6.50 of which £3.50 will go to cover printing costs and £3 will be donated to village organisations.”