A former special educational needs teacher from South Shields has worked her magic for a second time, writing her new book – ‘Lily and the Island of Secrets – The Journey Continues’. Yvonne Carlin-Page is now set to publish her interactive book, which enables children, along with adventurous adults, to follow walks and cycle routes around the region.

The new book is a sequel to Yvonne’s debut children’s story, ‘Lily, Windy and The Witch – The Journey Begins’. Children can now catch up with the first book’s lovable, quirky characters and enjoy their new adventures. The theme running through both books is about overcoming challenges. For example, Windy the fairy is dyslexic and, although this causes her some challenges, she always finds a way to sort things out, help others and triumph over her difficulties.

The first book was a massive success, going to reprint three times. Excited fans of the series will be thrilled to learn that Lily, Slobberchops Bast and Windy join forces with two amazing new characters, the forever clever Tommy Thompson and the young lovable dragon Mr Poddleposh the Third.

The books not only have a dedicated group of young fans as many adults are looking forward to the book launch too. One reason for this is that as well as being a great read, the book has innovative benefits for everyone. Readers can use the book to follow trails around South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Newcastle. An interactive map allows fans to follow the route of the story while integration with Google Maps provides further information about the characters at each location including sections that have a voice over by the author. Some of the places featured are Herd Groyne Lighthouse in South Shields AKA Santa Claus’s Rocket, Colemans’ Fish and Chip Shop in South Shields AKA the Magic Ship, Penshaw Monument, the Angel of the North and the pedestrian Tyne Tunnel. Following Windy’s Way Walking and Cycling Routes is easy as the trails all use existing and established cycling and walking routes.

The book has already been successfully piloted in South Tyneside schools, a move that seemed right to ex-teacher, Yvonne. She says,

“This story is about the importance of being brave – something that we can all relate to. It’s been great taking the book into local schools and meeting both children and their teachers. As a former teacher, I know what teachers need to do the best job. We’ve prepared special packs and interactive kits for children. There’s also a free environmental pack available to download from our website. This helps children understand their impact on the environment and learn about things like plastic pollution and how they can help the planet. The environment is important to me. In fact, my inspiration for this story came from walking along the beautiful coastline around the home I share with my husband and my quirky kitty called ‘Puppy.’

“South Shields is such a beautiful place to live. I can see the ever-changing sea from my window and there’s nothing more magical than watching nature and the seasons. I have big plans for this series. Myself and my husband, Peter, who’s been promoting the book, really want to help bring more visitors to this part of the world. The way the interactive element of the book works could also be replicated in other areas – there’s loads of possibilities. We’re also hoping to turn the book into an animated film sometime in the future.”

Yvonne’s husband, Peter, is an ex Public Health Strategist and has been heavily involved in developing the book’s interactive maps. He says, “A good story can hold children’s attention and encourage them to think and act in a more thoughtful way. It’s also so important that everyone gets out and uses the country’s cycle and walking routes. We’re setting up a charity that will be partly funded by book sales. We hope the charity will be able to provide resources, such as bikes, to people who need but can’t afford them.”

Children across the north east and beyond are now eagerly awaiting the release of the new book. Yvonne already has plenty of pre-orders, which can be made on her website. She says, “It’s been an amazing journey creating the story and featuring so many local places I love. I’ve even based some of the characters on people I know well. Don’t tell Peter but Benji – Bat is based on him as he always thinks he’s right too!”

The book will be launched at 2pm on 25 May at Westoe Crown Primary School by South Tyneside’s Mayor, Ken Stephenson.