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Osprey's inspire author's work

Ozzy and Izzy book
Ozzy and Izzy book

The ospreys at Rutland Water were the inspiration for a new book by Leicestershire author Paul Gant.

Paul lived at Ketton for 10 years and used to work as a rodent controller with his work taking him all over the area, including Burghley House.

On his travels he would often see the ospreys and, when he had the opportunity, he enjoyed taking time to watch them in flight.

It struck him at the time that he couldn’t find any books that were aimed at children.

He said: “I thought I could write a short story for children, which is what I set out to do.

“I actually completed the book eight years ago but couldn’t find an illustrator.

“But our second home is in Croatia and I came across a young artist there by the name of Matija Sandric. I gave him the brief and he came up with the drawings for the book as a project for his final year at college.

“The pictures he has produced are excellent. I didn’t want caricatures, I wanted people reading the book to see ospreys as they actually look, which is what Matija has done.”

Pauls’ book, Ozzy and Izzy, follows the journey of Ozzy as he migrates between Senegal on the west coast of Africa and Rutland, where he meets Izzy. It is a story of two ospreys who each year have a thousand mile courtship.

The book is suitable for children aged between seven and 13.

Published by the Book Guild it is available for £6.99.

This is the first of several short stories by Paul based on his observations and experiences during his wildlife walks.

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