Caroline and Eimear bring Tom the Tractor to life in new children’s book
Two Lisburn friends, Caroline McArdle and Eimear McGlynn decided to put their spare time during lockdown to good use, and have published a children’s book.
Tom the Tractor, which follows the farmer’s motorised best friend during his typical day on the farm, was based on a poem by Caroline and was illustrated by her artistic friend Eimear.
Neither of the pair had ever been involved in writing a book before but the lockdown seemed like the perfect opportunity to use their talents.
“I have young nieces and nephews and I would read to them a lot,” explained Caroline.
“I have written poems before for birthdays and my sister’s wedding and when I was reading the children’s books I thought ‘I could do this’.”
Caroline drew inspiration for the book from her surroundings and found the story flowed easily once she put pen to paper. “My fiancé and nephew are called Thomas and my whole family is from a farming background so that was the idea behind Tom the Tractor,” she continued. “I found it quite easy to write and it is something I have quite enjoyed doing. It comes quite quickly to me and I jot ideas down on my phone.”
Once Caroline had the story, which follows Tom the Tractor from sunrise, throughout his busy day on the farm, until the farmer tucks him up at night, she asked Eimear if she would consider drawing some illustrations for it. “Our families have been friends for years and I knew she was extremely talented,” continued Caroline, “Eimear has done some fantastic images for the book. They really make the book come alive.”
Eimear was delighted to put her artistic skills to the test for Tom the Tractor.
“I would have done a lot of art at school and I have done paintings for Caroline’s mum,” explained Eimear. “I did a couple of hand drawings and a digital image for her to show to the publisher. We signed the contract last July and had the book completed in six months.
“I haven’t done a lot of digital art before so it was a massive learning curve for me and I have learnt so much.
“It was great fun and it was good to do over lockdown. A lot of people were very listless and this gave me a bit of structure and now I don’t know what to do with myself.”
Caroline and Eimear are hoping that there may be more books in the Tom the Tractor series. “I would love to do more,” added Caroline. “It was a fantastic experience and I’m very proud to see my name on the front of the book.”
The book is on sale now from Waterstones, WH Smith and online at Amazon.