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Our Dave

Local illustrator channels creativity into writing and self-publishes feline fiction to support The Sheffield Cats Shelter during the pandemic.

Our Dave

Like many artists and creatives, Sheffield-based illustrator Emma Woodthorpe found her income reduced as a result of the pandemic. Undeterred, Emma saw this as the perfect opportunity to explore her dreams of becoming an author. “

Since being a child I have always wanted to write my own books. Before becoming a self-employed illustrator I was a teaching assistant with four to seven year olds and have seen first-hand how important reading is in children's development.”

Based on the true life experiences of Emma’s own cat, Our Dave was brought to life amid the Covid-19 lockdown through the help of crowdfunding. Keen to stay true to her independent roots, Emma self-published the book through the publishing arm of her illustration business Embers & Ink, donating £1 from every book requested through the Kickstarter campaign to much-loved local charity The Sheffield Cats Shelter.

Our Dave is an illustrated rhyming children’s picture book telling the rags-to-riches tale of a cat who battles loneliness and loss in the cat shelter after being abandoned, before finding love and belonging with a new family in his fur-ever home. Highlighting the importance of animal shelters in animal adoption and fostering, Our Dave sends out a clear and important message: adopt, don’t shop.

Although aimed at independent readers aged five to seven years old, Our Dave will appeal to all children who enjoy rhyming structure and beautiful illustrations.“

This is a beautiful book with a beautiful message that utterly warmed our hearts," said a representative of The Sheffield Cats Shelter. "It tells a story that we see every day and we hope it helps raise awareness of all the cats like Dave who need a loving home. A must-read for cat-loving families everywhere.”

Our Dave will be published on 30 September and is available to pre-order. Pre-ordered books will include a free set of bookmarks and stickers.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)

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