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Minnie the chicken is star of the show in mother's first children's book

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A mum of three from Shernborne, on the Sandringham estate, has written and illustrated her first children’s book.

Minnie Goes Missing is written by first-time author Hannah Whyman-Naveh, and is based on the exploits of her own three-year-old daughter Piper and her beloved Rhode Island Red-hybrid chicken Minnie.

Hannah, 32, said she wrote the book as an answer to “lockdown boredom” as she hunkered down on the farm on the royal estate where she lives with Piper and her two other children, Poppy, 11, and Indie, nine, while her Israeli-born husband Idan was away for much of the time working in his job as a service engineer.

Hannah Whyman-Nevah
Hannah Whyman-Nevah

The chickens are Indie’s and she sells their eggs to passers by at the roadside.

Hannah said: “The book is very much based on the antics that Piper and Minnie get up to in real life, although the Piper in the book is quite a bit older then my Piper.

“Minnie is the only one of our chickens who has been given a name. She is a real character and Piper loves her.

Piper Whyman-Naveh, aged 3, with Minnie the chicken
Piper Whyman-Naveh, aged 3, with Minnie the chicken

“I start by drawing the pictures, which our watercolour with pen over the top, and then making a story around it. It is aimed at children aged between two and six and I wanted to make a very easy book for both child and parent to follow, so that at the 100th time of reading it is not an absolute chore to read it.”

Hannah said the book is one of three in a series she has penned and she hopes to release the others soon.

“It has seemed to go down really, really well,” she said of sales on Amazon. “It has been pretty crazy.”

The book cover
The book cover

She said that as a home educator, lockdown has been tough, particularly with her husband being away and her parents, who live next door, having to shield as her father is ill.

“Home edders don’t get the backing available from schools for other children,”she said.

But will she be sending the book to her famous near-neighbour and mum, the Duchess of Cambridge, for her young children to read? “I’d love to do that,” she said.

Minnie Goes Missing is £6.99. Go to Amazon and put in the book title to order.

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