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Much-loved Julia Donaldson characters such as the Gruffalo are painted on hidden stones

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:09 17 May 2020

The stones include Julia Donaldson favourites like the Gruffalo and Stickman Picture: ALI GREENBANK

The stones include Julia Donaldson favourites like the Gruffalo and Stickman Picture: ALI GREENBANK

ALI GREENBANK

The Gruffalo and Stickman will no doubt ring a bell with parents - some may read these favourite stories over and over to their children at bedtime.

Ali Greenbank, who created the Julia Donaldson stones for children to find Picture: CONTRIBUTEDAli Greenbank, who created the Julia Donaldson stones for children to find Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Now in Bury St Edmunds, these much-loved Julia Donaldson characters, and more from her stories, can be spotted painted on stones hidden around the Moreton Hall estate - if you are lucky enough to find one.

Painted stones to show support for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis has spread across the UK like the Ipswich rainbow trail, and this unique take on the simple and fun activity of hiding a beautiful stone for someone else to find is the idea of Ali Greenbank, a resident of the estate.

MORE: WATCH as rainbow spirit spreads across Suffolk

The mum-of-two said she used to read Donaldson’s stories to her sons Ben and Sam when they were young and was looking for something to fill her time on days off from her keyworker job at Stansted Airport.

She said: “I hope they will bring a smile to children and brighten up their day.”

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Amongst those hidden earlier this week include the witch from ‘Room on the Broom’ and the snail from ‘The Snail and the Whale’.

Despite having no artistic training, Ali has captured beautifully the illustrations by Axel Scheffler.

Ali said: “I can copy things. I dropped art at school.”

She has had an amazing response to her post about the stones, she said to her surprise, on the estate’s Facebook group - now at nearly 200 comments.

“These are fabulous,” one group member posted.

One girl found the witch and has since rehidden it, one comment said.

Ali hopes all hunters will leave them in situ or rehide the stones, rather than take them home, so other children can be delighted with their discovery.

She is now working on Disney/Pixar characters, so there will be more little treasures to discover on the Moreton Hall estate.


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