Bristol, UK, – Two Bristol-born authors, Steve Gunning and Chris Wheeler are today celebrating the publication of their new Children’s picture book, ‘Santa’s Secret Agents’ aimed at kids aged 5 to 10. According to its publisher Carraway, the charming wit, delightful verse and captivating illustrations will be popular with children and parents who are excited to explore the hidden and magical world of Santa Claus (a.k.a Double Ho 7) and his all-seeing elves.
What if “Santa can see through the sunroof” was the initial idea that started Chris Wheeler and his friend Steve Gunning on a journey to co-write their debut festive Children’s tale. The book that makes an ideal Christmas gift invites children and grown-ups alike to go on the (sleigh) ride of their lives as they follow Santa’s highly trained crack(er) team of elves and discover all of their gadgets and gizmos.
Steve Gunning, joint writer and also illustrator of the book, commented, “We really wanted the story’s rhymes and pictures to be something children (and adults) would want to come back to over and over again, first because you would find something new and then because you just liked them. We hope the book will inspire kids’ imaginations and become something that they can share with future generations. We are really proud that it will be on sale in bookshops, it’s still a bit difficult to believe!”
What inspired the book?
A long car journey and two bored, misbehaving children caused an exasperated father to warn that Father Christmas would know that they were being naughty because, “Santa can see through the sunroof.” Co-author Chris Wheeler explains, “I spent most of the rest of that fateful car journey ignoring the children entirely as my head began to fill with ideas and rhymes and puns. When I first brought the concept to Steve it was just a simple idea and a few verses. Together, with the support of our patient and loving families, through the twists and turns of life, at least one narrative reboot and a global pandemic we were able to turn it into a fleshed-out story and then, with Steve’s wonderful illustrations, a complete book. The finished product has far-exceeded our expectations and we are indebted to Carraway in helping us to share it with the book-buying public.”
Year-round appeal with a comical spy theme
Jane Shergold, Founder at Carraway Publishing said, “The early feedback from children, parents and booksellers has been really positive. They adore the humorous tongue-in-cheek verse and of course the in-jokes for all Bond fans, young and old, that are vividly brought to life through the detailed and inventive illustrations.
Although it can be a tough challenge for new authors to break through and join the canon of established Christmas favourites such as The Snowman or The Jolly Christmas Postman, thanks to the power of today’s word-of-mouth marketing available through social media, new writers have the opportunity to reach out and quickly grow a large following. What also sets Santa’s Secret Agents apart is that it is not just for Christmas, the story features scenes from every season from Springtime in the garden to Halloween on the high street, so can be enjoyed all year round.”
Priced at £9.99 the hardback version of Santa’s Secret Agents (ISBN: 9781916095021) is published by Carraway Publishing and is available from 6th October on-line from Waterstones as well as in-store at all good bookshops. The authors will be doing book-signings and readings at many bookshops and schools in the run up to Christmas. For more information on events, a preview of sample pages as well as downloadable colouring sheets, games and other reading resources for both younger and older children visit www.santassecretagents.co.uk