A LITERARY grandmother from Kenilworth is teaching youngsters the importance of keeping parks litter-free.
Elizabeth Lofthouse has just completed her fifth children’s book inspired by her grandchildren and the attractions of Warwickshire.
‘A Brilliant Day Out’ features her grandchildren Poppy and Sam with Grandma Tick Tock who decide to visit Stratford.
The trio and their frog mascot visit the must-see sights including the Butterfly Farm, Shakespeare’s birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, not forgetting an all-important ride on the chain ferry.
They also pause to collect litter from the River Avon – something Elizabeth is passionate about.
Some of the money raised from the books will be donated to Kenilworth charity Friends of Abbey Fields with which Elizabeth regularly volunteers.
The 73-year-old refuses to sell her books on mainstream websites, says knowing children enjoy them is more important than making money from her writing.
She said: “I love it because they’re all the children from friends and family. People tell me to put them on Amazon but for me it’s about introducing children in Kenilworth to how valuable their park land is and to keep it nice and look after the wildlife. I’m not in it to make money.
“All the books have got a theme on saving wildlife and planting wild flowers for bees, and to help reduce pollution and plastic.
“I used to come to Abbey Fields when I lived in Coventry with my children, when it snowed. The park gives me great joy and I love to give something back to it.”
Elizabeth – a former hospitality management lecturer – also reads her books at local nurseries.
As well as listening, the children can join in with songs from the stories – Elizabeth wrote with help from a local bell-ringer – and even a game invented by her eleven-year-old grandaughter.
She said: “The children are always telling me what to do and coming up with ideas. Poppy came up with the ice-cream game which is simply describing your favourite ice-cream and what you like to have with it and on it. My grandson has asked me to write a story about Halloween which I’ve started working on.”
Elizabeth also illustrates the books herself with watercolour paintings often featuring scenes from Kenilworth, including her own home, familiar to readers as ‘Frog Cottage’.
Her other books include time-travelling adventures in Warwick Castle with appearances from Elizabeth I who has lost her peacock.
Elizabeth’s books cost £6.99 and can be found at Kenilworth Books in Talisman Square.
Information on the ‘Friends of Abbey Fields’ can be found on Facebook.