Puffin has revealed it has chosen Adam Larkum to be the illustrator of Captain Tom’s forthcoming picture book for young readers. It has also unveiled the cover for the book, where Larkum's illustrations for the book can be seen for the first time.
Centenarian Tom Moore, who is now Captain Sir Tom after being knighted by the Queen, became a national hero after completing 100 laps around his garden in aid of NHS Charities during lockdown. His picture book with Puffin was announced in May alongside a deal with Michael Joseph to publish his memoirs that was struck after a number of pitches from competing publishers.
Disclosing further details about the picture book, Puffin revealed its title is One Hundred Steps and that it will be "an inspirational picture book about adventure, helping people and never giving up".
Out on 1st October 2020, it will tell "the incredible story of the man who walked 100 laps of his garden whose indomitable spirit captured the heart of a nation".
It follows key moments from Captain Tom’s life – "from a childhood spent roaming the Yorkshire moors, to his time serving in the Second World War and his incredible Guinness World Record-breaking achievements – interspersed with plenty of funny moments!" and Puffin's synopsis also promises that the book "is full of the wisdom that Captain Sir Tom has gleaned over his 100 years – that anyone can do or be anything they want, that we can achieve so much more when we come together, and that tomorrow will be a good day".
Larkum studied illustration and animation, and received a BA followed by an MA from the Edinburgh College of Art. As a student he won a competition to create a short film for MOMI and Channel 4, and once his career producing animated commercials was under way, he became an illustrator as well. He has regular columns in both the UK and US.
Keren Greenfeld, art director at Puffin Picture Books commented: "It’s been a real privilege to work with Adam to visually tell the story of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s inspirational life. He has truly captured the warmth, humour and adventure of the story."
Larkum said: "It’s been such a pleasure to work on this book and it’s been a real joy to illustrate the life story of such an inspirational man. A few weeks before I was commissioned by Puffin Books, I’d watched a TV documentary about Captain Sir Tom Moore, there were some really great photos in the documentary of his life and I remember thinking at the time how I’d love to illustrate his story. So it was such a surprise and joy when the commission came along for this book and I found myself actually working on it."
Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, added: "It is simply wonderful to see my father’s story brought to life for young readers by Adam’s vibrant illustrations. I hope that through the story and its engaging illustrations young children will be inspired to talk to their grandparents or elderly people in their community about their own extraordinary lives."
One Hundred Steps will be published as a £12.99 hardback (with e-book and audio also available).