Children's book illustrated by Salisbury artist proves a hit during lockdown

Children's book illustrated by Salisbury artist proves a hit during lockdown

Published at 6:34am 24th June 2020. (Updated at 7:13am 24th June 2020)

2 minute read

Simon and Rosie is set against a backdrop of Covid-19 and has been written by the granddaughter of Watership Down author Richard Adams.

The story aimed at young children is a tale of friendship, loneliness, imagination and self-acceptance and provides a gentle introduction to conversations about COVID-19.


Simon is a lonely park bench whilst Rosie is a young girl who see's his true potential.

Through Rosie's imagination Simon is transformed but he's devastated when she can no longer visit him and is left alone with Percy the pooing pigeon, and strange mask-clad people who no longer take the time to sit down. 

Eventually Rosie returns, and through their renewed friendship Simon’s true colours are finally revealed!  


The story was written by history teacher Lucy Moonen.

Lucy is the eldest granddaughter of Hampshire author Richard Adams who wrote Watership Down, and would have been one hundred years old last month. 

Lucy Moonen profile Salisbury
Lucy Moonen.

Mum of two Lucy says she's "keenly aware of the challenges of parenting under lockdown." 

"The story has been written in the gaps around meals, naps and constant tidying up."

Simon and Rosie was brought to life with by award-winning Gillian Johnson who lives in the city and has published more than 35 children's books.


Gillian photo Salisbury illustrator
Gillian Johnson


Gillian says the book is dedicated to frontline workers everywhere.


Since it launched just over a fortnight ago the book has had over 4600 unique page views. 

It has been praised by doctor and children's TV presenter Dr Ranj Singh.


The story is free to read at

There's also colouring sheets and Key Stage 1 PSHE curriculum links, to help parents and teachers engage with the emotions of very young children at a difficult time.

A voluntary donation to the NHS is suggested via, in recognition of the heroic work by staff to combat the epidemic.


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