A CHILDREN’s author has described her excitement ahead of the publication of her first book, which is being brought to life by an Argentinian illustrator.

Rachel Lyon’s picture book, The Cautionary Tale of the Childe of Hale, will be released in January.

Telling the story of a famous real-life giant from Hale, near Liverpool, The Cautionary Tale of The Childe of Hale, was snapped up in 2011 by successful publishing house, Maverick.

It selected Vanina Starkoff to create the magical images, and with work now complete the rhyming story will be on the shelves in shops for January.

Rachel, 34, from Eccleston, said: “I signed the contract with the publishers in September 2011, and I’ve been pinching myself ever since.

“Vanina has been working painstakingly on the illustrations for almost a year, and to see the art work develop from week to week has been thrilling.

“I couldn’t be happier with how it looks.

The rhyming book will be published in hard and soft-back formats.

“Like most people who grow up around Merseyside and Cheshire, I’d heard of The Childe of Hale, and been taken to see his cottage and grave when I was younger.

“It wasn’t until I was looking at photos of his thatched cottage on the internet recently – complete with the two little windows where his feet poked through while he lay in bed – that I realised what a great storybook character he would make.

“Being a giant, and a real-life one at that, I knew children would love him. I was just surprised that no-one had written his story for children before.”

Steve Bicknell, managing director of Maverick, said: “It is one of the most beautiful books we’ve ever produced. We’re extremely proud of it.”

On February 1 Rachel will meet reviewers and book critics from the national press when she attends a launch event for the book in Covent Garden, London.

She added: “It’ll be the first time I get to hold the printed book, so it will be thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time. I can’t wait.”

The Cautionary Tale of The Childe of Hale, suitable for children aged four and above, is available to pre-order now, in stores and online at retailers including Waterstones, Amazon and Sainsbury’s.