Sharon Hosford and Tara Laubach have collaborated to launch a beautifully illustrated children’s book this month in Dunmanway. ‘The Cat who Couldn’t Count’ is a children’s storybook for three to eight-year-olds. It is written by Sharon Hosford, the principal of The Model School in Dunmanway, and illustrated by one of her former pupils, Tara Laubach.
Sharon has written many stories and poems and had some poems published in literary journals. This is her first published book. After Sharon attended the launch of the first book that Tara illustrated, ‘Gerard the Ferret’ by SJ Rowland, she asked Tara to illustrate her own children’s story. Sharon’s children used to request that she make up stories for them. She has also named the characters in the tale after some of her children.
The book is written in a charming and warm writing style, which invites the young reader to relax and join her in her adventures. ‘The Cat who Couldn’t Count’ is a good bedtime story, and has already become the favourite of many children.
Tara studied at The Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork and has since been making art commissions, putting on exhibitions and illustrating children’s stories.
The new book is published by Matador Publishing in the UK.
Inspired by her experience in teaching children, Sharon has created a story with two versions. On the right page is a simplified version of the story for younger children with a larger picture, while the left page contains a slightly more complex version with smaller pictures. The book is therefore suitable for a range of reading abilities. Tara always loved illustrated picture books and stories when she was younger and was inspired to take part in the production of a new storybook.
Her illustrations are colourful and whimsical; yet leave space for the imagination of the children to flourish. There are illustrations on every page, depicting the story of Alice and her cat’s new kittens, especially the striped ginger kitten, Marmalade.
‘The Cat who Couldn’t Count’ is influenced by Irish farm-life and West Cork countryside atmosphere. How could it not be; there is so much inspiration here that people come to seek it from worldwide. Once you have lived and grown up in West Cork, many people say, it is difficult to find a comparison. It is clear from reading this book that the magic of West Cork shines through.
The book is available through local bookshops or on the Troubador website.