Bradford songwriter turns old poem into paperback for children

Lou Rhodes with her book The Phlunk and her own cat, Ike

Lou Rhodes with her book The Phlunk and her own cat, Ike

First published in News

A Mercury Music Prize nominated singer-songwriter has turned her hand to children’s writing and is releasing her first paperback.

Lou Rhodes, 48, of Bradford on Avon has been in the electric music duo Lamb since it formed in 1994, but recently revisited a poem, The Phlunk, written for her two sons, that had been left in a draw.

She said: “I never really planned to write children’s books. The Phlunk poem just happened and, after I rediscovered it, I thought it would be fun to get it illustrated.”

She sent the poem to Falmouth School of Art’s illustration tutor, asking him to invite his students to send her an idea of how the Phlunk might look.

She said: “One student, Tori Elliott, somehow captured him better than I could have ever imagined and so I asked her to illustrate the whole story.

The Phlunk is a rhyme book with illustrations about a feline living in space who can hear and see everything children do on Earth. He is seen as an imaginary friend. The author said: “It is good for schools to engage in, because I use a lot of alliteration and the book can bring in a range of subjects.”

Lamb split in 2004 and, during the band’s hiatus, she released three solo albums and toured. In 2006, she was nominated for a Mercury for her debut solo album, Beloved One.

Lamb reformed in 2009 and are writing their sixth album, after returning from a tour of Holland.

A musically-inspired follow-up, The Phlunk’s Worldwide Symphony, is due out in September.

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