Harbour comes alive through book


The most influential character in a new series of children’s book is the city of Sydney.

The author, Wahroonga’s Knox Grammar School history teacher James Whiley, was inspired to write Stanley the Manly Ferry nearly six years ago when he was watching ferries start the day on Sydney Harbour.

“The idea came even before I had my two sons,” Whiley, 50, said.

“I didn’t know much about children’s stories, but I hadn’t seen anything written about our harbour.

“And I knew the kind of illustrations I wanted, but I can’t draw.”

Whiley, of Davidson, conducted a search for a Sydney Harbour artist and found illustrator Patrick Hawkins living close by at Manly.

The two men, who were strangers one year ago, have developed a creative partnership and friendship that has seen them self-publish two books in the series.

Together they produced, published and distributed the books after starting their own company, EJKW Publishing.

They sold out of their first edition of book one, selling 2200 copies from only a handful of retailers - the second book, Ferry Tales 2, has also been well received.

Whiley, who used to live at Roseville and attended the local primary school, said the two men had an immediate connection.

“Patrick captured Sydney in a real way - he didn’t need to dress it up or make it fantasy land,” Whiley said.

And for Hawkins, 33, who used to work in construction, it was a challenge he embraced.

He started painting 2 1/2 years ago, and has developed a “cartoony” style which worked well for the books.

“It’s opened up a whole new world for me and we’re both committed to doing as many books as we can,” Hawkins said.

“They are very colourful, friendly and informative, and champion the city of Sydney.”

Book number three is expected to be published by Christmas.

For more information visit www.stanleythemanlyferry.com.au  

15 Aug 11 @ 12:18pm by KAT ADAMSKI - for original article: