‘A Christmas Catastrophe in the Enchanted Audley End Woods’ is an enchanting debut, co-written by sisters Amanda and Emma Neville, daughters of the founder of the Audley End Miniature Railway, the late Lord Braybrooke.
The book tells the story of a naughty elf, Elvin, who whilst playing, gets Father Christmas’s sleigh stuck under the railway track. Working together with the elves, brother and sister Robin and Hetty use their wit and determination to free the sleigh, just in time to get Father Christmas on his way, delivering presents around the world.
The characters in the story – Robin and Hetty – are named after Robin, the late Lord Braybrooke, who was a train fanatic and passionate engineer from his early childhood, and Hetty, his beloved daughter, sadly lost too young.
When Robin grew up, he was able to realise his dream by building Audley End Miniature Railway at the bottom of his garden. Hetty was never happier than when she was playing in the Enchanted Woods, surrounded by nature and all the animals.
Co-author Emma Neville said; “It’s been such a joy working with my sister, and bringing the characters, who are so close to our hearts, alive in this story.” Amanda Neville went onto say, “During this second lockdown, the ‘Christmas Catastrophe’ book is helping to keep our magical attraction alive in the imaginations of our young readers, when our doors have to remain closed.”
The book has been beautifully illustrated by British artist Philip Shaw, known as the Tall Chin, who has captured the timeless moments of the story in his iconic style. Set in the ancient Audley End woodlands, the story is awash with a magical and traditional Christmas spirit. The charming watercolour images are studded with woodland animals and captivating details for children to discover.
In the story, Father Christmas rewards his special helpers, Robin and Hetty, with a golden bell from his sleigh. Each copy of the hardback book will include a golden bell, hidden in a red velvet pouch, for every reader to magically uncover on Christmas morning (with a little help from parents and carers!).
It is hoped the book will be the first of a series documenting the adventures of Robin and Hetty in the Enchanted Audley End Woods.
Available to buy for £12.99 plus P&P from: https://www.audley-end-railway.co.uk