Islington mother writes book based on her grandma’s tales from Nigeria

Kate Iffy Chukwu

Kate Iffy Chukwu - Credit: Archant

A mother of four has written a children’s book inspired by tales she was told at her grandmother’s knee.

Kate Iffy Chukwu, from Caledonian Road, Islington, spent a year and a half penning A Week of Tortoise Tales, which is released in conjunction with Ten2Teens Magazine on Saturday.

She wrote the book based on tales of an adventurous reptile she span for her children, which were in turn inspired by stories her grandmother told her in eastern Nigeria where she grew up.

The talented turtle learns to fly, hides food in his hat, sings to a magic tree and generally gets up to trickery and mischief.

Mrs Chuckwu said: “The book is about a tortoise, called Tortoise, and there are seven stories told over a week from Monday to Sunday; one story for each day.

“He has various adventures and plans, sometimes he wins and sometimes he doesn’t.

“And there are questions at the end of each story, so hopefully they are a bit educational – without being pushy.”

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The author managed to write the book in between working, studying for a postgraduate degree and bringing up her children. But after various knock backs from publishers once the book was finished, she decided to go at it alone.

“It took a long time to write because I had four kids,” she said. “You could say I have my hands full.”

“Years ago I used to tell the kids tales and they would always ask for more stories. I would be busy and send them away after a while, but I started thinking, maybe I should write these down. That was my inspiration really

“They were all stories from when I was a little girl and so I put pen to paper.

“When it was finished, I tried to go down the normal publishing route, but you wait three months or six months and then get told their roster is full, or the book is not quite right for them or something like that.

“It’s really hard to get anywhere, so I thought I would try and publish it myself. Ten2Teens got involved, which is really helpful, and we’ll see how it all goes.

“If it works out, this will just be the beginning. There is a lot more to come.”

A Week of Tortoise Tales is available on Amazon and other online bookstores.