Mum-of-two writes children’s book about dogs – and how to be kind to friends


Mum Charley Wilcock has written and illustrated a book to teach children about kindness.

The 34-year-old, from Talke, wrote the book during maternity leave in lockdown, just weeks ahead of giving birth to her second daughter.

The dog-loving illustrator has created canine characters to help children understand how to be considerate and kind when expressing opinions.

The book – called ‘A Shih Tzu says it like it is’ – sees Sandra the Shih Tzu share her opinions about her friends a little too bluntly. But one dog – Justin the Jack Russell – barks back.

Charley said: “When I was a kid, I wanted to work for Disney to work on animations like Lady and The Tramp. I launched my pet illustration business Fetch Sketch as my creative outlet for wanting to draw dogs all the time.

“Writing a book is something I’d always wanted to do, but just didn’t have the confidence. I’m part of an online group for mums with businesses who encouraged me to go for it and with the help of Team Author, I started writing it in lockdown.

“I feel most at home telling stories, and I read to the girls every night and we love books, so I just wanted to get it launched before Christmas.”

‘A Shih Tzu says it like it is’ will be released on Amazon this Wednesday (on November 25), costing £6.99. And £1 from every sale will go to Second Chance Animal Rescue.

The mum-of-two said: “I used to volunteer at the rescue, but it was too heartbreaking to hear some of their stories. A lot of the characters in the book are inspired by dogs I met during my time there.”

Sandra the Shih Tzu is said to use her blunt personality as an excuse to be a little bit rude to her friends – like making fun of Steven the Staffy’s jumper.

Charley added: “The book is about being open-minded and saying how you feel in a kind and considerate way. It’s about being caring with words and mindful of what may hurt someone’s feelings. But you also mustn’t just say things to please people.

“When you go to the dog park, you can always tell the dogs have different personalities, so I’m hoping dog owners will be able to open this book and find a character similar to their pet.

“Although, I have had to put a doggy disclaimer in that the personalities reflect the characters in the story – and not their breeds.”

Children will be introduced to Steven the Staffy, Catherine the Cockerpoo, Whinnie the Whippet and Denise the Dachshund among other adorable dogs.

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And now Charley has got the itch for writing, it certainly won’t be her only story.

She said: “I wanted to test the waters with the dog story and see how it went. I’d really like to bring out a series with my partner.

“After having a baby in lockdown, I’d also like to write a book for new mums that could be given out by health visitors. There’s been a rise in post-natal depression and it’s been tough having a baby in lockdown – so that will be my next project.”





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