Friday, 30 December 2011

Children's book inspires £50,000 offer to National Trust

A recent poll shows 94% support for replacing the famous White Horse at Uffington in Oxfordshire with an image of a unicorn. A new fantasy book for 7 plus year olds has prompted thousands of children and adults to support the explanation of the chalk carving revealed in the book. One enthusiastic supporter has even gone so far as to offer the National Trust, being the owners of the site, GBP50000 to cover the cost of the work.

Paula Broderick, the author of the book that has sparked so much interest in the prehistoric monument, is amazed at the activity the book has generated. “While researching material for The Rowan Tree I discovered the amazing story of Dragon Hill, which is next to the Uffington Horse and is said to be the spot where Saint George slew the dragon. The whole area is wrapped in legend and the story I have told does have a certain plausibility that appeals to most ages – including the parents who read to younger children.”

Richard Henderson, National Trust general manager for Oxfordshire, has declined the cash offer forwarded through a legal firm in Cornwall. Richard explained “There are so many mysteries and legends surrounding the White Horse, but we have no reason to believe that it was ever intended to represent a unicorn so we would have no intention of carrying out any work to change it.”

Although Paula is a new children’s author her first book in the Toby and Sox trilogy has already required a second print run. The Rowan Tree, released in early December, is the second book and had people queuing at a recent book signing in Bristol. Asked to comment on the success of her books Paula said “I believe a child’s imagination is very special and my stories encourage the reader to think about the content and possibilities long after closing the book.”

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