A GRAPHIC designer has turned her skills to writing to produce an anti-bullying children’s book.

Michelle Hird, from Rainhill but now living in London, is coming back to her hometown as part of a book tour showing off her work which she both wrote and illustrated.

The 31-year-old’s debut book covers bullying, mental health and friendship in a story about a black cat moving to a new town and finding it hard to make friends.

The book was written during her time studying at Liverpool John Moore’s University and has been a passion project ever since.

Michelle said: “I work as a graphic designer so this has been a project I have been working since university.

“I wanted to write a book with good morals but represented in a fresh new way that children will love.

“My style used to be very gothic but it is very cutesy now so that can be seen in the work too.

“I’m really proud of it as it’s message of love and respect for others.

“I feel like this is a necessary lesson for children learning and growing in an ever-changing world.”

Michelle will be heading home to visit Rainhill St Ann’s CE Primary School for a reading to pupils on March 2, followed by visits to Prescot Primary School and Evelyn Community Primary School on May 4.

The aim of these events is to identify cultural beliefs linking to superstition and bullying and to encourage pupils to discuss any their feelings as well as the difficulties making new friends.

The former Rainhill High pupil added: “I remember while at primary at Rainhill that authors would come in and do talks and readings, so I’m excited to be doing that in my old primary. It’s a great feeling as the book shows the stigma of being viewed differently and the mental health issues such as anxiety that can come from that but in a child friendly way.

“I really hope everybody likes it.”

The book can be purchased on various sites including at Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones and matthewjamespublishing.com.