A DORNOCH mom has just launched her first children’s book Winston the Bear and the Black Fir Dragon.
Catherine MacCulloch’s book is aimed at children ages three to eight and features the “dapper and adorable” bear Winston, who lives in Dornoch.
She will read it at a teddy bear picnic hosted by Dornoch Festival Week at the Meadows tomorrow starting at 11am. There will be prizes for the best dressed and most loved teddy bears.
Winston the Bear and the Black Fir Dragon tells how Winston is inspired after reading a story about a flaming dragon that once terrorized the city.
The curious bear decides to investigate to see if there is any evidence that the dragon existed or if it could still be hiding somewhere nearby, undiscovered.
Winston sets out to explore familiar places and beauty spots such as the beach, the Royal Dornoch Golf Course, Dornoch Cathedral and the Camore Woods.
A unique combination of photographs and illustrations brings his fascinating journey to life.
In addition to writing the rhyming tale, Catherine was involved in all aspects of the book’s design.
A keen amateur photographer, she took all the photographs in the book and commissioned artist and friend Jude Holden to draw the beautiful illustrations, and seamstress Jo Shepherd to create Winston and her specially designed outfit. Both women are from Dornoch.
Catherine had the idea of writing a book by reading to her own children when they were younger.
She visited the local Historylinks museum where she researched ideas and drew inspiration from the local legend of St Gilbert – Bishop of Caithness and founder of Dornoch Cathedral – slaying a dragon.
Catherine said, “I have always loved writing nursery rhymes and making up stories to entertain our three children, so I thought I would like to give it a try myself.
“I didn’t know how long it would take to publish and design a book. I wrote the story and took the pictures a few years ago, but it wasn’t until the lockdown that I managed to finish it, get the book edited, and put it all together. “
She added: “I think Winston’s Adventure will appeal to the younger ones who will enjoy looking at pictures of a very cute bear as he goes on a dragon hunt, but I hope the adults will enjoy reading the story to their little ones too.
“Books with photographs are not that common in children’s literature, so I wanted to create a really unique book that was a little different from all the others, and I wanted to showcase the beautiful landscapes of this part of the world. “
Catherine hopes her book will help promote Dornoch and the Highlands in general and also encourage sustainable tourism.
She said, “Most importantly, I hope it inspires the kids to get out there and explore their natural surroundings and go dragon hunting.”
Winston the Bear and the Black Fir Dragon is available for purchase, priced at £ 8.99, at Dornoch Bookstore, Historylinks and Dunrobin Castle.
For more information visit: www.winstonthebear.co.uk Orders can also be placed through the website.
Retailers wishing to stock the book are requested to send an email to: [email protected]