A children’s book, penned and illustrated by Carrickfergus grandfather Bob Harper, has enjoyed “instant success” since its release just three months ago.
Bob was inspired to write ‘Danny’s Visit to Carrickfergus Castle’ – published in November 2021 – when visits to the Castle with his grandson, raised questions from the five-year-old about the history of the famous attraction.
Since then, sales have surged and the book is attracting local media attention, with the author due to appear on the BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Good Morning Ulster’ programme in the coming days, in addition to a feature article on broadcaster’s website.
Explaining his motivation behind the book, Bob said: “I wanted to depict the history of our magnificent Carrickfergus Castle through the eyes of a child and pack the book with enjoyable facts that would grab the attention of any five-year-old.
“The book takes children on a journey through the Castle, allowing them to learn about its builder, John de Courcy, for example, and the origins of its name from the Rock of Fergus.”
Bob said he has been “blown away” by support for the book in recent months. “The book has been an instant success and I have been so humbled by the good will and support from so many citizens and visitors, who have commented on how much their children and grandchildren have enjoyed it.
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council have also been tremendously supportive in enabling to stock the book in Visitor Centres across the borough, where sales have so far surpassed by expectations.”
Alderman Billy Ashe MBE said the book was “a great way” of promoting civic engagement and educating our generation about the exciting history of Mid and East Antrim.
“I am thrilled to see ‘Danny’s Visit to Carrickfergus Castle’ do so well, so quickly,” he said. “Bob has produced something very special that is not only a lovely tribute to his grandson and the experiences they have had together, but is inspiring hundreds of children to learn more about the colourful history our world-famous Castle.
“That the book is now attracting local media attention is only fitting and very well-deserved. Council is proud to support Bob in this endeavour and we wish him every continued success.”
‘Danny’s Visit to Carrickfergus Castle’ is available for purchase in Visitor Centres across Mid and East Antrim at a cost of £5.00.