Orlingbury author illustrator puts the cat among the pigeons in her latest children's book about a bird-loving feline

An Orlingbury fine art graduate turned writer-illustrator is celebrating the publication of her first books.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:59 pm
Updated Monday, 11th November 2019, 9:46 am
Katie with her book

Katie Brosnan has had her children's books Keith Among The Pigeons and Gut Garden hitting the shelves in consecutive months.

Her debut children's book, which took a year to finish, uses some of the characters and scenes from sketches made in parks and locations around Northamptonshire.

She said: "Keith is a cat who I used to meet on my way to work. He had a collar with his name on it. I also love pigeons so I would make up little story ideas about them.

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Keith thinks he is a pigeon

"I thought it would be nice to have pigeons being admired for a change."

The 34-year-old started her art training back in 2004 completing the Art and Design Foundation course at Northampton University.

She later went on to study a Fine Art degree at Nottingham Trent and graduated from an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art last year.

It was at her end-of-year showcase that two different publishers saw her portfolio and commissioned her to work on two titles.

Keith is named after a cat Katie met regularly and based on her parents' ginger tom

Katie used her two nieces, Eloise, five, and two-year-old Grace to test the book.

Aimed at three to six-year-old children, the work tackles contemporary issues of self-awareness, empathy and identity, teaching young minds how to accept themselves and others for who they really are.

Katie, who will soon be moving to Kettering, said: "There is a lot of focus today on how children form their identities in a world in which there are so many external pressures, not least images seen in social media and magazines.

"It's a much more complicated world for children today in many ways and this book gives us a character who has the bravery to stand up and accept who he really is, and who realises he has his place in the world too.

Katie sketching

"Hopefully there will be lots of children who will identify with Keith, and will find a similar sort of acceptance of who they really are."

Her next book to be published Gut Garden - a journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome, published by Cicada Books, will be launched in Cambridge later this month.

Through Katie's illustrations, young readers follow the human digestive process from the mouth all the way through the body - and the microbes that can be met on the way.

Katie's next book will be a chapter book for children aged between seven and eleven. She is also working on the illustrations for another fiction book.

Katie's next book will be launched later this month

She added: "Keith Among the Pigeons has been well received and is some getting good reviews. I'm not ruling out doing the further adventures of Keith. I might get some inspiration."

Keith Among The Pigeons, published by Child's Play (International) is available now and will be published in spring next year in the US, Canada and Australia.

Gut garden - a journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome, aimed at six to ten year olds, is published by Cicada Books.

Take a look at Katie's work here.