Hatfield couple’s literary success inspired by departed pet

PUBLISHED: 09:55 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:25 24 March 2017

David and Karen Levy co-wrote the children's book The Kingdom of Puli.

David and Karen Levy co-wrote the children's book The Kingdom of Puli.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A children’s fantasy book inspired by a Hatfield couple’s much-lamented dog has been stocked by major retail chains and is selling well.

Amazon had just made a second order for The Kingdom of Puli, and Waterstone’s has told authors Karen and David Levy it is popular with customers.

The Sovereign Place couple wrote the book over several years, drawing inspiration from their Hungarian puli dog, Jimmy , who died about a year ago.

Karen, 53, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “David puts in all the swashbuckling and fighting, but I put in the humour. David did a lot of research, but I did all the drawings.”

Whenever they took Jimmy, a rescue dog from the RSPCA at Ridge, to local parks, they found children were fascinated by his woolly coat.

Karen said: “They would say he looked like a cloud, or like a sheep on a lead.”

In the fantasy world they have created, supernatural puli dogs live in the clouds, but in their book, a spell condemns one to live on earth as a normal dog.

The book spans several generations and historical periods, incorporating Florence Nightingale, Robin Hood and late Georgian times.

First published by Austin Macauley in January, it is currently stocked by WH Smith, Foyles, Waterstones and Amazon.

The Levys have given readings, helped by Karen’s hand-made puppets, at several Welwyn Hatfield primary schools and day centres for people with learning disabilities, always with an enthusiastic response.

David, 58, has retired from his career as an electrician to concentrate on the books.

Karen, who suffers from the autoimmune disease lupus, said: “ Children love it. I did about half the drawings in hospital. It has been good therapy, and it has brought us closer together.”

Their second book, a form of prequel set in Ming Dynasty China, will be published later this year under the title the Book of Origins.

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