Luke Harper has achieved something only a few will achieve in a lifetime. At only 12 years of age, he has published his very first children’s book titled, Pigeons and Popcorn.
In 2018, Luke entered the National Child Writes Competition, a competition offering school children the opportunity to write and illustrate their own children’s picture books. He was first introduced to the competition by his school teacher and from there he worked on his concepts and illustrations.
“At school there were always pigeons and you would mostly see them eating popcorn, so it seemed to be their sacred food. I thought it would be fun for them to have an adventure about their love for popcorn and it getting stolen from them,” said Luke.
Luke spent all of 2019 finalising his book with his mentor, Emma Mactaggart, who assisted in turning his ideas and concepts into a picture book.
“Emma is really nice. She helped me understand how to write a book and got me a drawing kit with a sketchbook and pencils. She helped to motivate me, especially when it was hard work because there were so many pictures and each one took so long to draw”.
Luke and Emma Mactaggart from Child Writes Fund have decided to take this project one step further and donate 1,000 copies of Pigeons and Popcorn to Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation’s Radiothon appeal. All funds from the Pigeons and Popcorn book sales will be donated to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, a place Luke is familiar being a previous patient of the Hospital.
“The people who work there work really hard to make sure the kids are ok and money will help them continue to that. We are also donating some books to kids at the hospital because they might get lonely and a book might make them feel better,” said Luke.
Pigeons and Popcorn is based on Jimmy and his friends known as ‘The Flock’ who usually spend their days playing and eating. When a horrible eagle steals their sacred popcorn, they are indeed startled into action. To purchase your own copy of Pigeons and Popcorn, head to the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation's website.