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Gidea Park author's storybook cat aims to warn children about stranger danger

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 March 2019

Children's author Michelle Hird with her new book Binx Lost in France.

Children's author Michelle Hird with her new book Binx Lost in France.

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An illustrator’s second book invites children to join Binx the black cat on a journey to France to learn about stranger danger.

Children's author Michelle Hird with her new book Binx Lost in France.Children's author Michelle Hird with her new book Binx Lost in France.

Michelle Hird, of Carlton Road, Gidea Park, is publishing a sequel to her first children’s book, Binx the Jinx.

Binx Lost in France follows the black cat and his family on an exciting holiday trip to Paris.

While wandering around the city, Binx soon finds that he has lost his family and he will need to be smart about safely finding his way back home.

Michelle told the Recorder how true events inspired the story.

She said: “I went on a holiday to Paris with friends in 2017. At one point I ended up on my own and I got lost.

“My phone died and I had to look for a shop where I could charge it.

“The story struck me from there as I got to thinking about how important it is for children to remember parents’ numbers and if you do get lost, who is the best person to talk to.

“I took photos and some of the imagery and illustrations in the book are based on my visit.”

The illustrator shared her upcoming book with pupils in schools across east London during the week of World Book Day.

Michelle visited Saint Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Lowshoe Lane, Collier Row, Manorfield Primary School in Wyvis Street, Poplar, Manor LongBridge School in Scholars Way, Dagenham and Manor Infant School in Sandringham Road, Barking.

“It went really well. I mostly did assemblies with reception and Years 1 and 2,” said Michelle.

“I asked the children if they knew their parent’s numbers and it surprised me how many of them did.

“The children really engaged with the story and it was nice to see their reaction and hear them asking questions.

“I feel like they got on board with the message.”

Binx’ next adventure will see him facing the new experience of having a younger sibling as a new member joins his family.

Binx in France will be available to buy from March 28 at Waterstones.

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