In April 2017 we launched a community art competition to find an illustrator for our new Children’s book ‘Bo the Boston Church Mouse’, written by Victoria Buxton. After receiving 54 entries, we asked for members of the public to vote for their favourite interpretation of ‘Bo’. Over 2,000 votes were cast and the result clearly showed Yanna Lawson as the winner. Through word and art, Bo was born.
After months of hard work, we announced that ‘Bo The Boston Church Mouse’, our long-awaited children’s book, had been finalised for publication. Yanna Lawson’s winning illustration was in pride of place on the front cover, and the blend of Victoria Buxton’s written story with Yanna’s pictures was ready to be launched at the Boston Illuminate Festival 2017.
This story of a small mouse called Bo, trying to find a new home in Boston, was conceived in the imagination of Victoria Buxton. Bo’s story is intended to highlight, in a gentle way, the need to treat all people with love, kindness and care, regardless of the country of birth.
Over the subsequent months hundreds of copies of the book have been sold with some copies being sent all over the world. Community groups and local organisations are using this book as a tool to highlight the need for people to treat each other with love and care.
Our friends at Lambeth More in Common (LMiC) have used this special book within their communities too. Charmian, from LMiC, has contacted us to inform us of the impact Bo is having on the communities there:
‘Ive shown your wonderful book Bo the Boston Church Mouse to a number of people in Lambeth and everybody loves it! People say that the story is thought-provoking and works on two levels, for children and adults, and the illustrations take you right inside the story and help you feel Bo’s emotions of sadness and then his happiness at finding a new home.’
‘Just a few examples of people’s reactions here – I visited the Caribbean Hindu temple in Brixton and three people there asked for copies to read to their grandchildren, so I’ll be ordering those! I also shared the book with the South London Islamic Centre where two amazing women help run the Sunday supplementary school and would love to use the book with the children there. (by complete coincidence a family there have been to Boston and visited the Stump, which they found to be very welcoming place for ‘a bunch of women in headscarves’ and they lit candles there). Plus, on a personal level, my 3-year-old granddaughter loves the book and asks for it all the time!’
Copies of ‘Bo the Boston Church Mouse’ are still available to buy from St Botolph’s Church at £11.99 each. For more information or to order your own copy, please contact Adam on (01205) 310929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.