World Book Day: Charity fundraising for children's book about mental health

The book has been illustrated by East Anglian artist Emma Graham Credit: Suffolk Mind

A mental health charity have pledged to give a free book to every reception-age child in Suffolk if they can raise enough money to produce it.

To coincide with World Book Day on Thursday, 4 March, Suffolk Mind have launched a crowdfunding campaign to print enough copies of Sammy the Sea Squirt for every four and five-year-olds.

It follows the story of a sea creature who looks after his ocean friends' wellbeing; it is designed to show the importance of exercise and movement for mental health.

Ezra Hewing, head of education at Suffolk Mind, came up with the story and it was illustrated by local artist Emma Graham.

Mr Hewing said: "This is such an important project, to ensure that children from a young age know the benefits of exercise on their mental health.

"We want children to learn the skills to be emotionally resilient as they continue to grow into adulthood."

A £40,000 target has been set for the fundraising campaign, which has been endorsed by Suffolk County Council.

Councillor James Reeder, the council's cabinet member for public health and prevention, said: "Suffolk’s 'Most Active County' campaign is therefore delighted to endorse the Suffolk Mind crowdfunding appeal for the ‘Sammy the Sea Squirt’ book, which will provide parents with an exciting and engaging way of talking to their children about the importance of movement, through storytelling."

Click here to access the crowdfunding page.