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A book of wonder

Wonder is a new book venture with the aim of entertaining and inspiring young minds with big-name children’s writers and illustrators. Gill and John McLay are the brains behind the brand, and here Gill gives an outline of one of their books of wonder, Fig Swims the World by Lou Abercrombie.

Every now and again you discover an amazing new storytelling force. A voice that is unique and stands out, one that sweeps you away in its power, takes you on a journey and one that you simply don’t want to end. Fig Swims the World does just that.

Fig Fitzherbert lives with her parents and younger brother in the strange world of a funeral home. Good at lots of things – making lists, playing the piano and advance mathematics – Fig is smart beyond her years. She is a girl you want to get to know straight away. Her over-achieving mum who loves to be in control, likes it to stay that way and good is never good enough. She’s even tried to set a New Year’s resolution for Fig. Not this year, however. Fig has decided she is going to swim the world. The only problem however is… Fig can’t swim!

As Fig starts her journey, from signing up for swimming lessons to her first swim, you become part of her team. As she escapes and starts her quest to swim the world, her journey changes. It’s about so much more than swimming. Fig meets new people of all generations and most of all she starts to get to know herself.

It’s all told brilliantly by Lou Abercrombie, who uses her own incredible swimming experience to make the adventure so vivid and real. You feel you take every step and stroke with Fig. Cheering her on, you become desperate for her to succeed against all the odds. We won’t tell you more, as all journeys are personal and you’ll need to take this one yourself…

Wonderfully entertaining, heart-warming and funny, this is a book full of quirky characters and friendship and it’s a sheer delight to enjoy. Launched during Lockdown, it’s worth seeking it out. We may all be staying at home, but there is no reason why your imagination can’t travel the world!

Fig Swims the World by Lou Abercrombie, £7.99, Stripes Publishing, readers 10+