Beach girl Amy, 6, publishes her first book

SHE may only be six years old, but little Amy Winterbottom is already publishing her first book.

Inspired by her family’s love of the coast, and the many shells and pebbles she has collected, the young author has penned a book for other children called A Guide to Stuff You Find on the Beach which is being launched on Easter Monday.

Amy, , who lives near Bury St Edmunds, said: “I wanted to write the book because I like the beach and all the nice things you can find there.”

The talented youngster, whose favourite beach is on the north Norfolk coast at Brancaster, first had the idea for the book last year when her mum Sally Francis found her drawing the cover for the guide.

Dr Francis, an agricultural writer and consultant who has published a number of books herself, said: “I asked Amy what she was drawing, and she said it was a book she thought it would be nice to write.

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“She got more and more determined to write it and as we talked about the idea in the family, we thought there could be some mileage in Amy’s idea of a book about Norfolk and Suffolk beaches especially for children.”

Helped by her family, Amy spent a lot of time visiting various beaches across the two counties and collecting all sorts of things washed up on the shore.

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With some expert advice from the Castle Museum in Norwich, the University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, and Southwold Amber Museum, Amy and her family identified everything that they had gathered, and then Amy spent her time writing the text and creating a little starfish cartoon character for the book.

Now finished, the 48-page pocket-sized book complete with colour pictures is a handy guide to help youngsters aged four to 11 understand more about what they find at the beach.

It includes examples of common and uncommon seashells, as well as things like mermaid’s purses and cuttlefish bones, and semi-precious stones like carnelian and amber, and most of the text is written in a font based on Amy’s own handwriting.

Amy’s family have arranged for the book to be published and 1,000 copies have been made.

The young writer said she was very happy and very proud to have her book published, and said that she also wanted to write a story book and some poems.

A Guide to Stuff You Find on the Beach will be launched on Easter Monday from 3pm to 5pm at The New Cottage, Overy Road, Burnham Market. The event is open to the public.

The book costs �5 excluding postage and packaging. Anybody who would like to buy a copy of the book or any shop interested in stocking the book should email

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