Roald Dahl influenced author from Great Bourton whose first book, Rolo is delighting children

Author, Lawrence Prestidge, in Great Bourton, with his children's book, Rolo. NNL-160706-140211009
Author, Lawrence Prestidge, in Great Bourton, with his children's book, Rolo. NNL-160706-140211009

A young author from Great Bourton has been in huge demand in Banburyshire primary schools as he promotes his first children’s book, Rolo.

Lawrence Prestidge has taken inspiration from his favourite author, the legendary Roald Dahl, and the film Bigfoot in the story of a small boy who runs away and is befriended in the forest by a nine-feet tall Giant Walpertinger – often called a Bigfoot or Sasquatch – with the distinctive name of Rolo.

Mr Prestidge said: “I’ve been going around local primary schools to read some of the book and to talk about it and have had a brilliant reception from the children.

“My biggest influences have been Walt Disney, JK Rowling, PL Travers, Charles Dickens and Robin Williams. But the biggest of all has probably been Roald Dahl.

“I had the plot for Rolo in my head for a long time and wrote it after leaving teaching special educational needs and drama at North Oxfordshire Academy.

“I want to go back to teaching but at the moment I’m really enjoying visiting primary schools to promote the book.”

Mr Prestidge spent two years before university working as a lookalike character. His guises included Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Bert from Mary Poppins and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.

While doing research for his book, Mr Prestidge wrote to Roald Dahl’s wife, Felicity and was invited to tea with her in Great Missenden where he saw the hut in which the great children’s author wrote his stories and poems.

Rolo, for children aged from five to seven years is available at Waterstones and Amazon.