A MOTHER inspired to write by her children is celebrating the launch of her first book.

Rachel Lewis, of Sedgefield, cherished creating tales to read to her children six-year-old Tilli and four-year-old Sonny, who encouraged her writing through their words of praise.

She decided to put pen to paper hoping other children would enjoy her tales as much as her own – with the hopes of getting more youngsters into reading.

She wanted to write a book she could take into mother and toddler groups in libraries to inspire children surrounded by technology to become avid readers.

Mrs Lewis works as a supply teaching assistant for children with special educational and development needs and said she took into account different children's abilities to make the book enjoyable for all.

The 31-year-old created Zupidee – a fantasy book for children about a magical world.

It follows an unnamed character who heads for the fictional world of Zupidee to discover the world of adventure waiting for them.

The book is illustrated with drawing space for the children to join in the adventure.

Mrs Lewis said she was thrilled with the reaction from friends and family after was able to publish the book thanks to North-East publisher, Sixth Element Publishing who recognised her talent.

She said: “I have been overwhelmed by the reaction from people and the publisher.

“Zupidee is stocked in a few shops online now including Waterstones which is great. I am in talks to stock it in libraries as well as I would like to read it in mother and toddler groups in the future.

“I hope to go on and write more in the future. It’s not about the money for me it’s about creating something that will last forever and something children can enjoy which will encourage them to read. We've used colourful illustrations which we think they will respond to."

The book was published with help from Teesside graphic designer and fellow author Graeme Wilkinson.

Mr Wilkinson has published successful books himself including Screw, God and the Universe, Time, Space and A Slice Of Cake and The Boy at the End of the World.

Mrs Lewis enjoyed the collaboration and said he was vital in creating the book.

The first-time author said she hopes to go on and publish more books for young bookworms and already has several works written.

Zupidee was published on Thursday, December 12, and is available at Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles, and Sixth Element Publishing.

The book will also be stocked at WHSmith soon.