Kate Pigeon-Owen and her son have collaborated on a children’s book, The Seal Who Was Scared of the Sea. Ahead of writer Louis Pigeon-Owen and illustrator Kirsten Hamilton appearing at Waterstones Norwich, Kate explains how the book was inspired by the grey seals at Winterton.
Some of my happiest memories of being a mother were when my children were little and would cosy up for a story. And there were lots and lots of stories. When my son was eight, I remember him walking into our sitting room and, once he knew he had everyone’s attention, proclaiming: ‘I’m going to be a writer’.
And that was that. Now, seventeen years later, he’s still writing and in 2021 he and I published his first children’s picture book, titled The Seal Who Was Scared of the Sea. The fabulous Illustrations are by his friend – the up-and-coming illustrator Kirsten Hamilton.
This wonderful collaboration between the three of us emerged from my love of creating “Wellbeing Story Massage” and training people within organisations like Barnardo’s and Action for Children to teach infant massage instructors. I believe passionately in helping mothers form attachments with their children, further deepening this process through sharing a love of books and the joy that reading together brings.
The story was inspired by the successful protection of the grey seals on the Norfolk coastline, most notably on Winterton Beach. Interestingly, the link between oxytocin and maternal behaviour not only has important consequences for pup survival in grey seals, but helps us understand how various species, including humans, bond.
Massage and story time increase oxytocin levels for both parent and child. I am excited to announce that The Seal Who Was Scared of the Sea is available at Waterstones and is also used as an integral part of the “Wellbeing For Mothers & Babies” two-day training that I offer at www.wellbeinginternational.co.uk.
The Seal who was scared of the sea: Storytime and Activities, takes place at Waterstones Norwich on July 29, where Louis Pigeon Owen – a Norfolk-raised writer who currently lives in Canada – and Kirsten Hamilton – an illustrator, writer and bookseller based in Norwich – will be appearing to chat about the book. There will be two sessions: at 10.30am and 2pm. Free to attend and no need to register. Also, visit WellBeing International.