Storytelling sessions kick-off in Kirkcaldy to support CHAS

A children’s story written by Gill White as a labour of love for her little boy is to be brought to life with a series of free storytelling sessions.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 5:48 pm
Gill White (left) and illustrator Gilli B. at the launch of Leo and the Lightning Dragons.

These start this Saturday at Waterstones in Kirkcaldy.

Inspired by her son Leo’s fight with a rare form of epilepsy, Gill made him the star of a story, titled ‘Leo and the Lightning Dragons’, illustrated by Ladybank artist Gilli B.

Encouragingly, critics, parents and libraries alike have taken the book to heart since it was published by Fledgling Press in January.

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All royalties from sales of the book are being donated to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – better known as CHAS.

Leo was born with Ohtahara Syndrome – an extremely rare form of epilepsy which causes seizures and developmental delays. Just three days after entering the world, doctors switched off his ventilator and told Gill and her husband, Andrew, to say goodbye.

But, shortly after, Leo fought back and took his first unsupported breath. He has been defying the odds ever since and is now three years-old.

Speaking from the family home in St Andrews, Gill commented: “The response to Leo’s book has been incredible, I am blown away by the reviews, as well as the support we have received. A reprint had to be ordered only a week after publication! These particular events will be great fun for all kids, with colouring-in, storytelling, shield and crown making, book signing and music. We also have a selection of sensory items for the kids to play with, which have proven popular so far.”

As well as the book shop and Fife library tour, a number of events have been aranged with the PAMIS (Promoting a more inclusive society) group and the book adapted for those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

These events will be starting in early summer, though PAMIS will also be taking the sensory story adaptation around schools for children with additional needs.

“Gill was recently invited to an event at the Scottish Parliament which providced an opportunity to give attendees an idea as to how stories could be adapted to include those with learning disabilities.

“We were delighted at how well it was received,” said Gill. While the tour starts at Waterstones on Saturday, it will return to Kirkcaldy on Friday, May 24, for an after-school event at Kirkcaldy Galleries.