Hartford grandmother pens book as special legacy for her grandchildren

Brenda Gillian with her grandchildren Amelia-Rose and Alfie Brown. Picture: HELEN DRAKE.

Brenda Gillian with her grandchildren Amelia-Rose and Alfie Brown. Picture: HELEN DRAKE. - Credit: Archant

Most of us are reminded of our grandparents by treasured photographs and favourite family tales around the dinner table. But one Hartford grandmother plans to leave a very special legacy for her grandchildren – a series of story books for each of them.

Brenda Gillian, 61, a business advisor who lives on a boat at Hartford Marina, has published the first book for her six-year-old granddaughter Amelia-Rose Brown, a pupil at Brampton Village Primary School.

Maiseerola and the Purple Sweets tells the tale of a birthday party which turns into a magical adventure with a moral lesson. When Maiseerola – an anagram of Amelia-Rose – breaks the three-sweet rule and becomes hyperactive, she bounces so high on a trampoline that she gets stuck in a tree.

She must then rely on the help of a woodland fairy to free her – and the magic word ‘sorry’.

As well as being the book’s inspiration, Amelia-Rose has helped her grandmother design the artwork, which was later adapted by illustrator Andrea McKenzie.

Ms Gillian said: “Amelia-Rose loves fairies and goblins and all sorts of things and it has captured her imagination. It is a moral story in a fun wrapper.”

She self-published the novel with Chris Thomas of Cambridgeshire publisher Milton Contact Limited and Bill Goss of Digital Print Media in St Ives. It took her only about a week to write.

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She said: “I have often told the story so it was already there in my head. I wanted to have total control of it because it is a legacy. It is something that when I’m long gone my grandchildren and their children will all be able to look back on.”

The next book in the Crazy Grandma series will be for her grandson and Amelia-Rose’s brother, Alfie Brown.

Titled Alfie Bear Goes to Work, it will follow the four-year-old on a journey into a dream world which sees him trying out a job on a farm. This will be followed by Thomas Goes Into Space for her five-year-old grandson Thomas Marshall, the cousin of Amelia-Rose and Alfie.

“As a parent I consider myself privileged,” added Ms Gillian. “As a grandparent I know I am blessed. From the moment my first grandchild was born I entered a precious dimension between responsibility and fantasy and I became liberated from the restrictions of parenthood.

“You are there to have fun mostly and take them into a different world – they all call me ‘crazy grandma’.”

INFORMATION: Maiseerola and the Purple Sweets costs £6.99 or £7.99 for a copy signed by Amelia-Rose and can be bought by emailing brendagillian86@gmail.com. A book launch is being held on Saturday, September 20, at Tom’s Cakes cafe in Market Hill, St Ives from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Anyone is invited and there will be plenty of purple sweets and cakes.