SCOTLAND’S favourite sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, has launched its first children’s book telling the story behind this year’s show theme, From the Deep, with all income from sales of the book going to The Enchanted Forest Community Trust.
The book, ‘An Adventure From the Deep with Solas’ which was written and illustrated by local writer and designer Alexander Strong, tells the story of From the Deep’s main character, Solas, and his journey through the oceans to discover his purpose. Alexander worked with fellow designer Strachan Barr on the layout to create a charming short story in rhyme suitable for children up to the ages of 7/8.
The copy, design, layout, print and distribution have all been donated to the charity by a collaboration of contributors to this year’s show, including the show’s creative director and concept originator, Karen Falconer of Wavemakers, Mackay & Inglis Printers, Antalis Papers, and sales by Let’s Eat Group in Glasgow.
One hundred percent of the book’s sales will go to The Enchanted Forest Community Trust which operates a Community Fund and a Discretionary Donations Fund to redistribute the surpluses from the annual event to the local community in Highland Perthshire. In 2022 the Community Fund was open to registered charities operating within Highland Perthshire who could apply for up to £10,000 to finance projects that help tackle poverty in the region and address cost of living crisis challenges. It awarded £49,750 to 17 registered charities operating across Perthshire in May this year.
The book’s storyline and illustrations were inspired by this year’s show which sees visitors transported into the depths of an underwater world, transforming Faskally Wood into an underwater forest with a deep watery glow of aqua blue and green. It will be sold exclusively to visitors to the event which runs until 5th November, as well as via the event’s website www.enchantedforest.org.uk.
Nela Popovic, executive director of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said:
“This is a charming children’s book which really brings Solas’s journey to life for our younger visitors and will make a great stocking filler, as well as a fantastic bedtime story. As a charity, we are really grateful to Alexander for writing it, and to Strachan for creating a beautifully designed book that we’re sure children will love. Copies will be available to purchase at this year’s show for just £5 and all income from the book will go to The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the registered charity that operates the event and which supports a number of local charities and initiatives throughout the year.”
Alexander Strong, the writer and illustrator of the book also commented:
“I came up with the idea while I was working on the show behind the scenes, just as a bit of fun, really. Karen spotted my illustrations and thought it was fantastic that I’d captured Solas’s journey in this way. Before we knew it, the printers were on board, The Enchanted Forest Community Trust had agreed to back it and the published book was in my hands, ready for thousands of children to read! It’s more than I’d ever imagined and I’m so grateful to everyone who donated their time and resources to help us create something so special. I really hope that Mums and dads enjoy reading the story to their children and it becomes a bedtime favourite for everyone – it’s a great way to re-live the magic of the Enchanted Forest at home.”
Tickets are still available for this year’s event, albeit for limited dates. To book, or to find out more information, please visit: www.enchantedforest.org.uk.