A children's book titled Drew, Moo and Bunny, Too is being released on September 7th in memory of Drew Barker-Wright, a 4-year-old who died from a chordoma.
It coincides with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which runs throughout September. The book is described as a beautiful, lyrical story of a little boy and his two best friends, told in enchanting verse by renowned poet Owen Sheers, magnificently illustrated by award-winning artist Helen Stephens, developed in collaboration with DBW Charity and published by Walker Books.
Melanie, Drew's mum, said: "We have been working with Owen behind the scenes for many years, developing a children’s story inspired by Drew and his favourite soft toys. The aim is to fulfil one of our charity’s objectives, Drew’s Gift – a gift for newly diagnosed young children in the UK. But, also to be a stand-alone story that other children could enjoy."
The book has even made waves with Welsh celebrity Cerys Matthews.
"Cerys Matthews loves the book, and her quote ‘a book bursting with love and adventure’ has made a wonderful addition to the front cover," Melanie said. "We are over the moon and hope the book will be a success."
The deal with Walker Books was made during lockdown. Drew, Moo and Bunny Too was inspired by Drew Barker-Wright, a real little boy who passed away from a rare form of childhood cancer at the age of four. The Drew Barker-Wright Charity, to whom poet Owen will be donating 50% of all proceeds, was set up in Drew’s name to raise awareness, help fund research and support families in the UK affected by paediatric chordoma.
The synopsis of the book sees Drew set off on an adventure with his best friends, Bunny and Moo, on a flying carpet powered by the magic of their friendship. With rough seas ahead as they encounter the infamous pirate Jacqueline, who has captured incredible creatures from all over the world, Drew and Moo and Bunny, too must find a way to save the animals and find their way home. It will be available in hardback and costs £15.00.
But the memory of Drew doesn't stop there.
A concert called Drew’s Concert will take place at Theatr Brycheiniog on September 23rd, to celebrate the release of the book and to raise funds for rare childhood cancer research through music, song, dance and laughter.
"Our local area is bursting with talent, so what better way to fundraise than bringing everyone together under one roof for a variety performance?" Melanie said.
The show will feature special guests including West End leading man Matt Rawle (Martin Guere, Evita, Zoro, Cabaret, Aspects of Love) and Natalie Ngyutin (Fame, Smokey Joe’s Café, Inkle and Yariko, Bombay Dreams) alongside all the well-loved drama groups, dance schools, choirs and solo performers in the area.
"We hope we can sell out the theatre and raise essential funds to help us continue with the charity’s research goals." Melanie added.
The charity will also be holding a prize draw. "Our CCAM Charity Prize Draw will also be held for the whole month of September, to raise awareness in line with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – CCAM." Melanie said. "We have some amazing prizes, such as tickets for West End Show Moulin Rouge Piccadilly Theatre London, a Samsung HDTV, Original Lizzie Spikes Oil Painting of the Brecon canal basin, Supper for Two at The Felin Fach Griffin, Afternoon Tea at Foyles of Glasbury and many more."
Tickets can be purchased in Brecon from Brecon Chocolates, Ty Cariad and Theatr Brycheiniog. In Talgarth from Claire’s Wholefoods. In Hay from The Old Electric Shop.