East Hunsbury Couple Receive Publishing Deal For Their First Ever Children’s Book “HOP THE KANGAROO DOG”

East Hunsbury resident Cherise Cross, and her partner François Arnaud, originally from Tours in France, wrote and illustrated a children’s picture book aimed at 0-7 year olds, “Hop the Kangaroo Dog” during lockdown last year. After self-publishing on 1 January 2021 it has been picked up by an independent London based UK publishing house.

The couple decided to write Hop the Kangaroo Dog when they found themselves at home with a lot of time on their hands. Cherise said: “We’d been playing around with ideas for children’s books for four years. In April 2020 when we realised that lockdown wasn’t going to be short term, we decided at that point to go for it and try and make our dreams come true.”

Before COVID, Cherise worked in children’s theatre, and François worked in graphic design. During 2020 they were both made redundant from their jobs, had to move out of their own home and in with Cherise’s parents, their wedding was postponed twice, and their own business selling French wine had to be closed down. François said, “We needed something to fill the time and to keep us from going mad due to all the horrible things that kept happening to us because of COVID, and that’s when Hop came along.”

The couple’s book has so far received very positive reviews on Amazon. They said, “We’re inspired by the stories that our friends and family tell their kids; we’re always asking to see what books they are reading together at bedtime so we have a good idea of what is popular. We love fun, zany stories that have a moral, and are accompanied by bold, detailed illustrations. Julia Donaldson is a great inspiration for us. We are also huge fans of Benji Davies. Our passion seems to have come across as parents tell us that their kids love the book, and that’s all we ever wanted.”

One Amazon customer who reviewed them with 5* said: “This is such a brilliant picture book! There’s so much going on in the pictures, they’re beautifully drawn and coloured. And a lovely story, too. I’ll be giving this to all of the little children in my life!”

The plot of the book is Hop is a dog adopted by a family of kangaroos. Hop very much wants to fit in and be like all her friends, but when time comes for her to learn the kangaroo bounce, Hop’s spring has…sprung! When a friend suggests they have a race Hop has to use her other skills to keep up with the Joeys and be in with a chance of winning.

Hop the Kangaroo Dog is the first in a series of books which they plan to release. The next two titles will be Grump Pig, and Scared Bear.

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Currently available on Amazon UK