Ullswater provides inspiration for new children’s book

The shores of Ullswater have set the scene for the launch of a new children’s book written and illustrated by two Lake district locals and featuring the lake’s iconic heritage vessels.

 By day, Askham-based author Dominic Brown usually drives an oil tanker but was recently inspired to write his first-ever book following the adventures of ‘Alan the Grumpy Duck’ and his animal friends.

 Aimed at 6-12 year olds, the story follows Alan, who can’t swim or fly but dreams of learning to surf. Along the way, his journey features plenty of well-known Cumbrian locations and attractions including Ullswater ‘Steamers’ and Lowther Castle.

Dominic has teamed up with artist and illustrator Sophie Martin to provide full colour illustrations for the 40-page picture book, which also has an educational slant - highlighting the importance of sharing, being kind to others and embracing personal identity. Based in Levens, Sophie loves to draw on location and also teaches art to local schoolchildren and art groups.

Dominic and Sophie officially launched ‘Alan the Grumpy Duck’ with a book signing at the home of Ullswater ‘Steamers’, Pooley Bridge Pier House.

Dominic says, “I’ve never written before, but I’ve always felt there was a book there and the story literally came to me straight through the pen! Ullswater has changed over the years, but it continues to be an inspiring place and it has been fantastic to bring it to life through this story, weaving in lots of local businesses too. Ullswater ‘Steamers’ has to be one of the nicest things to do locally, so I definitely had to include it!

Meanwhile, Daniel Morley is Head of Retail and Attractions for Ullswater ‘Steamers’. He says, “It’s fantastic to see our heritage vessels featuring in this new children’s book. We’re sure this charming story will inspire a love of Ullswater in the younger generation and will provide a perfect memento of fun-filled family days out in the area. We are keen to support local creatives and producers and wish Dominic and Sophie every success with their new book.’

Sophie adds, “I hope that the illustrations in the book will promote the beauty of our local Lake District landscape and bring attention to the wonderful animal characters who live within it. It would be lovely to think of children who have read the book looking out for characters like Rusty the red squirrel and Allan the grumpy mallard duck whilst out exploring the local landscape.”

‘Alan the Grumpy Duck’ is now available to buy from local retailers including Ullswater ‘Steamers’ Pier Houses and Lake District Estates’ online children’s store The Veg Patch.



Notes to Editors:


Hi-res images attached:

  • Dominic Brown and Sophie Martin, book signing at Pooley Bridge.


For further information and media enquiries, please contact: Heather Sewell, hsewell@cumbriatourism.org / 07795 487003.