Cornwall LivingIssue #111

Written from the heart

A new children’s book inspired by a love for the ocean.

The fear of illustrated children’s books being cast aside for screens is very real among modern parents, and with the reading of bedtime stories threatened to be taken over by digital home assistants, it’s with delight, relief, and a strong sense of pride that we discovered a new children’s book from Mike Lacey, conceptualised and written here in Cornwall Living’s home village of Porthleven!

The book’s main character is Mikey. In real life, Mikey, aka Mike Lacey, is one of Cornwall’s leading surf art photographers. His passion for Cornwall and nature is revealed in his diverse portfolio of ocean photography, which in turn is revered by locals and visitors alike who are stunned by his ability to capture the ever changing form of the Cornish breakers. It was one photograph in particular though – a perfect heart caught in a breaking wave the night before his first child was born – that inspired him and his wife to create their first children’s book.

Based on a true story, Coral and the Cornish Heart begins with the news that Mikey and his wife are going to have a baby. As with many new fathers, Mikey is a little nervous and takes to his beloved ocean with his camera to ask his underwater friends Ninja Crab Nina and Sophie the Seal for their advice. The book then follows Mikey’s journey before the baby is born, in search of the perfect picture. Which he does, the day before his daughter Coral is born!

We wouldn’t want to spoil your enjoyment so you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next. It is a tale told from the heart. Written by Mike’s wife Lisa, the prose is gentle and lyrical, addressing those fears that nearly all new dads experience before their first born arrives. The book is lovingly illustrated by Hermione Rose (@hermioneroseillustration) cleverly combined with Mike’s ocean photography. The style is reminiscent of picture postcards bought as a child to send to Granny, evoking memories of beach days and bedtimes stories, salty hair and sandy toes.

Waves Surf Art Gallery

01326 368369