Sammy the Sea Squirt – picture book for Suffolk Mind.
Over the last year I have been working with Suffolk Mind to develop illustrations for a wonderful project. Sammy’s story is told to encourage movement for good mental well-being. Sammy is a colourful character, but doesn’t want to settle down like other Sea Squirts, the reason… well they absorb their brains when they settle!
Ezra Hewing, Head of Education at Suffolk Mind, tells a tale in Suffolk Mind’s EARLY Minds primary school’s training of a Sea Squirt called Sammy who moves with ocean friends to look after their memory and emotions. Supported by Suffolk’s Most Active County programme, we are turning this tale into a picture book. I have been planning, sketching and developing ideas and the characters for this fun story and Public Health Suffolk are organising its distribution to school children across the county.
Ezra Hewing said: “This is such an important project, to ensure that children from a young age know the benefits of exercise on their mental health. We want children to learn the skills to be emotionally resilient as they continue to grow into adulthood. “Nobody wants their child to experience poor mental or physical health. But what can parents and carers do to protect their child? How can they support them to grow up to be positive and emotionally resilient adults? We’re appealing to parents, grandparents, businesses and anyone else who has an interest in our children’s future, to help us fund the book to give to every four-to-five-year-old in Suffolk. The story has been written and the characters have been created, now all we need is the support of our local community to be able to publish more than 8,000 copies.”
Creating Sammy has been, well, interesting to say the least. Sea Squirts are basically living tubes, no face, no limbs. They can live alone or in colonies, attaching themselves to hard surfaces in the seas of the world. When young them swim freely in search of somewhere to settle. Once they settle on their chosen hard surface they absorb their brain! (ok that’s the unscientific version) but the version the children will love! So Sammy needed a visible brain and to be colourful and fun for the children. We went through many sketched stages to end up here…
The other characters were far easier to develop and here is a page showing all the characters, a long way to go from this, but the rough dummy book is drawn and we are ready to move on to the full scale rough next.
But this is where we need help. The project is a crowd funded project, with rewards for donations. The overall aim is to give away a copy of ‘Sammy the Sea Squirt’ to every 4 and 5 year old in Suffolk schools.
There are ways to get your school involved in fun fundraising ideas, plus Suffolk Mind will be running Sammy themed exercise sessions online for parents, teachers and children to participate in.
Follow Sammy’s journey to publication and delivery to the children of Suffolk on –
For details about our Crowdfunding appeal please visit:
Suffolk Mind’s Sammy the Sea Squirt Storybook – a Community crowdfunding project in Felixstowe by Suffolk Mind (crowdfunder.co.uk)