A Coventry author has published a new children’s book retelling Coventry Cathedral’s story of destruction, restoration and reconciliation.
The non-fiction book recalls the events of the Coventry Blitz during the Second World War, when much of the city, including its medieval cathedral, was burnt to the ground during a German bombing raid.
Coventry; The Phoenix City tells the story of the night of 14 November 1940 in an easy-to-understand, positive way, touching on the devastation, but focusing on the optimism and great feat of courage that followed.
The publication is the second in a series written by 36-year-old Aaron Ashmore, a Coventry native, and hand-illustrated by the talented 21-year-old Oliver Emery.
Aaron described how the book “felt right” and timely, given 2020 marked the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz.
Aaron’s first book, Lady Godiva’s Birthday Suit, similarly retells a part of Coventry’s history, aimed at young people, keeping alive the tales of the past.
Though the 28-page book is aimed at those of primary school age, the beautifully-presented imagery brings the story to life in a way that people of any age can appreciate, and makes a fine addition to any Coventry-lover’s bookshelf.
An excerpt of the book:
Coventry Cathedral was known worldwide
As the best of all the spires.
Suddenly it was almost destroyed,
By wartime bombs and fires.
Coventry rebuilt itself,
After the destruction of war.
Making music, bikes and jet engines,
Pocket watches and more!
Carla Crawley, who works at Coventry Cathedral, said they were “thrilled” to hear about the book, and pleased that it tells “an important chapter of the city’s history in both a fun and informative way.”
The book is not the first project Aaron, somewhat of a Coventry-obsessed entrepreneur, has worked on.
His brand, Etch & Pin, has previously produced a sticker album of Coventry; a cards game based on the much-loved Top Trumps concept, dubbed Cov Trumps; and a range of pin badges that depict Coventry landmarks and icons.
For sale at the generous price of £8, the book makes a great last-minute stocking filler.
The author is also working to support a local charity, with £1 from every book sale going towards providing books for the Heart of England Community Foundation that raises money to fund and develop local community activities.