By Hollie Bone
A dad has written and released a children’s book based on Brexit in 30 days after he was challenged to explain the concept to his kids.
Richard Lawman, 33, started illustrated allegory ‘I Want to Leave This Book’ at the end of last month to explain the issue gripping the nation to Monica, four, and Bethany, two.
Illustrated by Katie Williams, 25, the story follows several characters who one day decide they don’t want to be in the book they are in, and struggle to agree on what kind of novel they should move to or whether they should leave at all.
But the published parent, who spoiled his ballot in the referendum, said it was laughable he has been able to summarise Brexit in just 30 days while the real-life politicians still haven’t worked out a plan of action in three years.
Richard, from Horwich, Lancs, said: “My eldest daughter has just started school and she’s very inquisitive but she doesn’t understand Brexit at all.
“I thought, ‘how am I going to explain Brexit to children in a very simple way’ so I started writing a hybrid fiction and non-fiction glossary but I got a few drafts into it and thought ‘this is horrendous’.
“I was sat thinking about what I could do and it just came to me – what if the characters in the book knew they were in the book and wanted to change the story they featured in?
“That meant I could make it into a fun story which plays on the medium of a book itself and explains the whole issue of Brexit in an impartial way.
“It’s taken me 30 days to get it written, finalised, and produced. It has been insane.
“We’ve watched the news over the past thirty days in a mix of horror, disbelief, excitement and anger as the Brexit story has twisted and turned, and forced us to make last minute amendments and artwork changes – but this is part of the challenge of telling a story which is still untold.
“Myself and Katie have laughed and cried at how we’ve been able to write, illustrate and print a book in 30 days, and yet it’s three years on from the referendum result and we’re seemingly trapped in a perpetual limbo – perhaps we’re stuck in some sort of terrible political version of Groundhog Day? Except it isn’t funny.”
The book features several characters that parents may start to recognise as the plot unfolds including David Cameron, played by Percy Hogtrotter the pig; Theresa May, played by Hamster and Boris Johnson, played by Highland Cow.
And despite having a first class degree in political history and specialised in EU reforms and international relations, Richard admitted even he had to brush up on his knowledge of the Brexit saga in order to cover everything from 2016 to date in his write up.
But while the project was launched as a children’s book, the author said it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and political persuasions.
Richard added: “The characters were illustrated by animals with some very careful thought.
“The pig is the intelligent animal who believes he is doing the sensible thing by putting it to a vote.
“But then he gets quite angry when he realises it doesn’t go the way he thought it would.
“The hamster is meant to represent Theresa May’s weak government, while the Boris the highland cow is a big, bold, brash character with hair in his eyes, who fails to see that the same difficulties will be waiting for him.
“Kids and parents have really enjoyed the book – they love that it’s a funny story which explains so much in such a short space of time and can draw a laugh from leavers, remainers and those in despair.”
The 32-page book also features a simple Brexit glossary to help children, as Richard believes it is more important for the younger generations, than any other, to understand what happens.
He said: “Brexit is a monumental political decision which changes the future direction of our country and the younger generations will live with the consequences – good or bad – for the rest of their lives.
“They will look back on this as a turning point in British history, so it’s seriously important that they understand it.”
Richard’s book, published by WatAdventure, is available to pre-order at www.shop.watadventure.com for £9.99.