YORK author Ian Donaghy will launch his latest book, Never Stop Drawing, in his native North East this evening (27/9/2023) at Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at 6pm.
Illustrated by Alfie Joey, the book champions never letting the flame of creativity die in a story full of colour, hope and inspiration for children aged eight to 108.
Billed as “the children’s book every grown-up needs to read before it’s too late”, Never Stop Drawing encourages readers to “find what you love and never stop”.
Former Maths teacher turned conference speaker, author, dementia charity champion and long-standing frontman of York party band Huge to boot, Ian says: “The world needs to stop asking how clever you are and instead ask how are you clever?”
Yesterday evening, over tea and cakes baked by Sue Stewart, he launched two editions of the book – one with Joey’s illustrations, the other with spaces left blank for readers to draw their own pictures – at Explore York’s Hungate Reading Café, where he had spent many an hour crafting the text.
In the tradition of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, he held up placards, one saying: Different NOT Worse. Different NOT Less. Just Different. #NeverStopDrawing.
From the Tow Law-born author of wellbeing books Dear Dementia, The Missing Peace and A Pocketful Of Kindness, Never Stop Drawing is dedicated to Ian’s daughter, the singer and musical theatre student Annie Donaghy, “who views the world in a beautiful, different way, often seeing things that many of us miss”.
Ian hopes the book will make its way into schools and children’s wards in hospitals and already that is happening. Tomorrow, he will give a talk to the British Library at Malmaison, Rougier Street, York.
“It’s a book about a little lad called Albie, who’s different. Different, not worse. Different, not less. He’s just different – and that’s fine. Socks don’t know they’re odd,” says Ian. “Let’s embrace the differences and make the world fit around people instead of us hammering the same round pegs into the same square holes.
“We’re all different and that’s a good thing, Imagine how dull the world would be if we were all the same.”
Did you know?
NEVER Stop Drawing illustrator Alfie Joey is a writer, comic, actor, impressionist, singer, presenter and artist/cartoonist. He hosted the flagship breakfast show on BBC Radio Newcastle from 2009 until his last broadcast on October 28 2022.