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Wereham writer has first book published




A woman from Wereham who has taken up a new occupation of illustrator late in life has her first book published tomorrow on World Book Day.

Pippa Meek, aged 55, who goes by the name Padmacandra, has done the drawings for The Tale Of The Whale, written by Karen Swann, which is aimed at four to eight-year-olds.

This is described as a fantastical, rhyming tale of friendship, which highlights the distress caused to sea creatures by plastic.

Padmacandra at her desk in Wereham. Picture: SCALLYWAG PRESS
Padmacandra at her desk in Wereham. Picture: SCALLYWAG PRESS

It tells of a magical journey of wonder and discovery from misty seaside shorelines to cold ice-capped seas. This beautiful tale of friendship between a child and a whale invites us to consider our responsibilities towards the environment and makes a direct plea to end plastic pollution.

"Where land becomes sky and the sky becomes sea, I first saw the whale, and the whale first saw me."

Padmacandra said: "It has a beautiful lyrical text by Karen. I have tried to evoke the beauty and wonder of the ocean and at the same time what we can do about plastic pollution and the effect it has on wildlife.

The Tale Of The Whale by illustrator Padmacandra and writer Karen Swann. Picture: SCALLYWAG PRESS
The Tale Of The Whale by illustrator Padmacandra and writer Karen Swann. Picture: SCALLYWAG PRESS

"It is an adventure story and it is not male or female child but gender neutral."

Padmacandra was brought up in Scotland but has lived much of her life in England. She was a social worker but always wanted to be an illustrator. She moved from the South coast to Wereham in 2016 to be nearer her boyfriend and undertook a degree at Cambridge School of Art where whales were a frequent subject for her work.

"I love it around here," she said. "Wereham is a lovely village."

A Buddhist she said her beliefs infused her work. "For me it is all about practicing kindness. I have tried to raise my awareness through meditation and trust it will be communicated through the work.

"It is also the reality of inter-connectedness. The connection with nature and trying to tune into that."

And high on the breeze came his sweet-sounding song ‘I’ve so much to show you, if you’ll come along’.

Padmacandra said that she still works one week a month as a carer for an elderly person, something she enjoys doing, but that being a professional illustrator was always something she wanted to do.

Active with King's Lynn Extinction Rebellion, she said that she had never had children herself but loved their company and hoped they liked the book.

She is now working on a second book which she is also writing the words for.

The Tale Of The Whale is printed by Scallywag Press, costs £12.99 and the ISBN is 978-1-912650-49-1.



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