Published: 28/10/2014
ISBN: 9781784620271
eISBN: 9781784628499
Format: Paperback/eBook

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About the Author

About me How I started to read I remember very well how I started to read. On my first day at infant’s school my teacher, Mrs Kebble, gave me a book to read. Of course I didn’t have a clue what thes... read more

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Barnabas the Beachcomber and the Oil Slick
by Ian Locke

Beaches are magical places! It’s the excitement of never knowing what you might find washed up by the tide; a football, a crate of oranges, a drum, shoes, bags filled with soggy surprises, pieces of driftwood, coconuts, furniture... even a message in a bottle!

Every day, Barnabas the beachcomber scours a stretch of golden sand on the west coast of Scotland with his long-suffering pet Labrador retriever, Dorada, on the lookout for any treasures wedged into the sand or bobbing about on the waves. One day, they spy a crate in the water. They go to investigate, but then news is brought to them of a tanker pumping gallons of oil into the bay.

“Out there is an oil tanker and it’s chucking out oil into the bay. If we don’t do something soon all the wildlife in the bay will be in jeopardy!”

Barnabas, Dorada and a host of animal friends jump into action to try and save the area from ecological disaster. “Vot can a little man and his little pet pig do to a tanker like zis?” jeers the captain of the tanker. Quite a lot, as a matter of fact – Barnabas has a whale of a plan up his sleeve to wipe the smile off the captain’s face..!

This is an off-the-wall adventure with a quirky hero. The heart-warming story is brought to life by fantastic drawings, creating a book that adults will enjoy with their children over and over again, and that children aged six-nine will be able to read themselves.

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Barnabas the Beachcomber and the Oil Slick (Picture Book for 8/9 year olds)
I’ve always had a fascination for Scotland and it’s one of my favourite holiday destinations, so I knew that Barnabas had to live on the west coast of Scotland. He is a jolly man who makes his living from the flotsam and jetsam he finds washed up on the golden, sandy beach along which he strolls with his pet dog Dorada. As a child I used to spend many weekends walking the beaches where I lived, being constantly amazed by the wide variety of things that were left on our beach by the high tide.
In this adventure an oil tanker is pumping oil into the bay and has no intention of stopping. Barnabas calls on his animal friends – Guilly the guillemot, Monty the Minke whale and Del the bottle-nosed dolphin, to save the bay from certain ecological disaster. Will they be in time?
In the pipeline
My fabulous illustrator, Jesús, is working on anotherBarnabas book which should be ready by the end of the year. It’s called Barnabas and the drug traffickers. He is also working on another series of books for young children called The Little Church but I don’t want to say too much about this book at this stage because the pictures are only in his head and not on paper as yet. Another series of books that I hope to illustrate myself, in black and white, is all about the crazy things that happen in a pond. It is called The Pond unless of course I can come up with a better title! There are a multitude of weird and wonderful characters in the best tradition of make-believe and farce. A little known fact is that one of my hobbies is designing ponds so the book is based on my own experiences of having spent many happy hours around ponds and other water features.
I have notebooks full of other ideas for books. I just need time to sit down and churn them out.
With the onset of the 2014 World Cup I became inspired to write another Barnabas adventure. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s called Barnabas and the World Cup and Jesús has promised me that when he’s finished with the End of Year Festival at school he will spend his summer holiday drawing the pictures. He says that Barnabas has become a passion for him!

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