Yummy Brummie Glynn Purnell releases second children’s book

17 June 2021

Glynn Purnell and Ashley King 3

Birmingham’s own Michelin Star Chef Glynn Purnell has released his second children’s book following the previous success of The Magical Adventures of Whoops the Wonder Dog, released in 2018.

Arnold the Alpaca is aimed at primary school aged children and tells the story of Arnold, a very brave alpaca, who mistakenly gets chosen by shorted-sighted farmer Mr. Pickles for his sheep farm. Arnold has to learn how to fit in with the rest of the flock at the farm by using his differences to his advantage.

Glynn Purnell, who has previously released best-selling cookbooks, Cracking Yolks and Pigs Tales (2014), Rib Ticklers and Choux-Ins (2016) and A Purnell’s Journey: There and Back Again (2020), has once again teamed up with Nuneaton-based illustrator Ashley King to create the book. Ashley’s previous credits include The Bookshop Girl, Erica’s Elephant, Elvis the Squirrel and the hugely popular Witch for a Week series. Arnold the Alpaca is released in paperback on Wednesday 16 June.

Glynn said it has been a hugely enjoyable process to write his second children’s book: 

“I still remember the vivid images from the magical worlds of my favourite authors when I was younger – and I am excited that I have been able to create the same here,” he said. “I hope it feels as fantastic and exciting for young people to read as it did for me to write. Having three children of my own, aged between 10 and 16, I have learned what enthralls and engages children. I got very involved in Arnold’s adventures even though I was writing them!”

Glynn started penning the book in March 2019 after being inspired by watching a short film on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen about the Copas Turkey Farm in Berkshire. The farm had a herd of ten alpacas with a very important job- protecting 24,000 free range turkeys from being attacked by foxes. The owner of the farm came up with the idea after a series of fox attacks resulted in hundreds of his birds being killed, which was what prompted Glynn to write the book.

“It’s not as strange as it sounds,” said Glynn. “Alpacas are used all over the world to deter wild dogs and coyotes. For many years, farms have used dogs to keep the other animals and birds safe, but they can’t be on the ranges all the time, unlike the alpacas who stay there day and night. The grass-eating alpacas are perfectly suited to the job because, while they will drive away foxes, they get on fine with other farm animals.”  

Glynn uses the central thread of Arnold being different to the rest of the flock to address the theme of how important it is to be yourself: “Arnold finds himself in an environment where he is different to the rest of the flock, and he gets picked on by some of the sheep. They don’t like him because he looks different to them- he has a long neck and buck teeth. They bully him and leave him out of their activities. I wanted to address this in the book and highlight how great it is that Arnold is different, and how being different means that he has his own very important qualities.”

Arnold the Alpaca is available to buy nationally on Wednesday 16 June from Amazon. It can also be bought directly from Purnell’s Restaurant on Cornwall Street in Birmingham.

Buy Arnold the Alpaca from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arnold-Alpaca-Glynn-Purnell/dp/1999900715

To watch Glynn Purnell reading Arnold the Alpaca visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u4zMnH82jg

Draw your own alpaca with illustrator Ashley King: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmxfVUAqCEc