West Sussex author celebrates puffins as "delightful little birds"

West Hoathly author Anthony Mitchell has brought out a new edition of Peter the Puffin through New Generation Publishing.

Anthony Mitchell
Anthony Mitchell

The book first came out in 2014.

It is available from Amazon or directly from Anthony on [email protected]

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Anthony, aged 65, explains: “I had visited the Shetland Islands where there were hundreds of puffins. They are delightful little birds. They are relatively tame and behave quite naturally in the presence of people.

“I soon discovered that no one had written a children’s book that followed the life of these wonderful birds. I decided that by using a mixture of humour, adventure and at times sadness, I could bring the birds to life in a way that would appeal to children whilst staying true to the natural lifestyle of the puffins.

“I purchased a DVD from the RSPB and read one or two books so that I could understand the life cycle of the puffins. The book starts with the egg in the burrow being minded by Peter’s parents.

“Young puffins are known as pufflings so the book follows Peter’s life from puffling to adulthood which includes the trauma of his first flight and the fact that puffins disappear for long periods of time.

“They also have to contend with a variety of predators.

“Writing came quite naturally, although I was able to seek advice from friends as to the correct language for the appropriate age group which is children aged from six to nine years.

“It is a stand-alone publication as I have not yet thought of any way of producing any sequel. I do hope that one day the book may be used to make an animated film as I believe the story lends itself to just that, but finance and support would be needed.

“This was my first book, although I have since produced a religious book called Free Will: God’s Choice, Our Choice which is published by Onwards and Upwards Publishers

Peter the Puffin was my first book.

“I was not a writer, but I gained confidence after completing a PhD. Although a very different document, it did furnish me with some of the basic skills required for any writing.

“I am also a Christian and although it may seem strange with both books I have felt that I was being encouraged to write by an inner spiritual power. Peter the Puffin, I believe, was written to fill a niche in the market.

“Anyone who has met a puffin cannot fail to fall in love with it and I felt that children would appreciate being able to read about a mischievous puffin.

“Even though a puffin in Brighton or a puffin in Eastbourne would be a puffin lost, ie a highly unlikely occurrence, puffins are an endangered species and I believe the children of Sussex should not only be aware of this but should where possible do something to help.

“I have decided that all funds raised from the sales of this book will be donated to a charity called The Loiyangalani Trust funds from which are being used to educate students in a community in Northern Kenya.”