'Much-needed and uplifting message' in Eye author and illustrator's new book

Author/illustrator Dorien Brouwers from Eye will her new picture book Sail

Dorien Brouwers from Eye with her new picture book Sail - Credit: Dorien Brouwers

The uplifting message in a Suffolk illustrator's book of finding lessons in challenging situations couldn't be more apt in light of 2020.

But Dorien Brouwers, from Eye, wrote her beautifully-illustrated picture book Sail in 2018, with the rhyme coming to her in a moment of clarity following yoga.

In this, her second picture book, she uses a ship sailing through a storm as a metaphor for life, the idea being that everything in life, no matter how difficult, is given to us as an opportunity for growth.

Dorien Brouwers, SAIL, author, Illustrator

Dorien Brouwers in her studio - Credit: Dorien Brouwers

One page reads: 'Some waves may seem too big, too strong. But courage rarely steers you wrong.'

Dorien is eager for the book to be published - which will happen in April in the UK - as the world has been going through such a tough time lately, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dorien Brouwers from Eye is publishing her second picture book, Sail. She has illustrated and written it

Dorien Brouwers from Eye is publishing her second picture book, Sail. She has illustrated and written it - Credit: Dorien Brouwers

The 38-year-old mum said: "It's so tough for everybody in different ways and I think in any situation some good can come out of it and will come out of it if you look for it."

The "much-needed and uplifting message" in Sail is relevant to both children and adults, and the dynamic and detailed illustrations carry the reader through the book.

A page from Sail by author and illustrator Dorien Brouwers

Dorien says timing for this book is great as the world has been going through such a tough time lately and the story is all about finding the lessons in challenging situations - Credit: Dorien Brouwers

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At the end, a set of questions invite parent-child conversations and encourage readers to explore their own life journeys, such as 'What are you grateful for?'.

Dorien, who lives in Eye with husband Stephen Taylor, who runs a design agency, and their eight-year-old son William, said a big part of the book was the messages she would want to pass on to her own child.

And it was writing a book as a gift for William when he was aged about three that set her on a path away from her career in graphic design towards illustration and picture books.

An idea that came from a previous trip to London Zoo gave birth to her first picture book, The Remarkable Pigeon, that has also been translated into Dutch.

"It's being observant and looking around you," she said.

Dorien Brouwers is the author and illustrator of Sail

Dorien's background is in graphic design, but she has moved into picture book illustration and writing - Credit: Dorien Brouwers

Dorien, who is Dutch, had been a graphic designer in London, working for clients like Tate Modern and the Prado Museum, before moving to Eye, where there was space for a studio in their new home.

She said "everything just fell into place" with her new book, Sail: her love of drawing and illustration combined with the uplifting words.

Dorien Brouwers, SAIL, author, Illustrator

Sail by Eye author/illustrator Dorien Brouwers is available in the UK from April. It can be pre-ordered now - Credit: Dorien Brouwers

  • Sail is a hardback picture book published by Little, Brown and Company and priced at £12.99. It is coming out on April 15, 2021, and is now available for pre-order.

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