Rugby poet Diana helps children’s charity NSPCC from proceeds of book

Diana Cook recently visited Hunts Book Shop, Rugby, with her new book. She has written a children's book, with some of the profits to go to charity.''Pictured: Victoria Parsons (Illustrator) and Diana Cook (Author).
Diana Cook recently visited Hunts Book Shop, Rugby, with her new book. She has written a children's book, with some of the profits to go to charity.''Pictured: Victoria Parsons (Illustrator) and Diana Cook (Author).

A Rugby grandmother is hoping her love of poetry can help boost a children’s charity.

Diana Cook has published a Harry Hippo’s Hat poetry book for children and is to donate the proceeds to the NSPCC.

The first book in the series is one of 24 poems written by Diana, and the illustrations were done by Victoria Parsons who is Diana’s art class teacher. She lives in Barby is well known for her wildlife illustrations.

The printing was taken care of by Diana’s friend Terry Keay who is a director of Renaissance Creative and has given her free samples to send to infant schools around Rugby.

She hopes to sell copes of the book for £1.50 and has had an initial £5,000 printed at her own expense.

“I originally wrote Harry Hippo for my granddaughter when she was four and had it published in a book in 2000,” said Diana.

“She has been nagging me for a while saying ‘grandma you should get them published’. When I first wrote it 15 years ago I went into her school to read it to the children and they liked it so I know children do like it.

“People from my flower club and art group are also saying they would like copies.

“The reason for publishing them is to help the charity and I’m hoping to be able to give them around £3,500.”

If Harry Hippo’s Hat takes off then Diana hopes that the book could be sold further afield and the NSPCC fundraising co-ordinator Barbara Elsey in Birmingham has already sent five copies round to it’s regional offices with that in mind.

“It is a bit of headache doing it on your own but if we had got a publisher that would have taken away profit from the charity,” said Diana.

Now retired, she has two children and eight grandchildren, and spent part of her career working with young people as a co-ordinator for Youth Training Schemes and with adults in Job Club. Latterly she was a self employed florist.

“I’ve always loved writing poetry since I was at school. I even used to have my own company many years ago called Write it Right which helped people with things like letters and CVs.”

Copies of Harry Hippo’s Hat are available from Hunts bookstore in High Street. For more details email dianacook@talktalk.net