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New children’s picture book by North East family brings alphabet to life with adventure

The North East family behind a new picture book is hoping that it will encourage young children to learn more about letters and words. ‘Here come the Dooblies’ started life as a random comment made by a toddler and introduces readers to the A-Z world of the Alphazooblies, inviting them into the land of Cupboard and an adventure featuring the innocent Dooblies. The book has been written by the five members of the Lines family from Sedgefield in County Durham and has been published by Right Lines Communications.

The idea for Here come the Dooblies was formed early in 2010 when, with no context, three-year-old Charlie Lines said to his parents: “The Dooblies are playing with the blueberries.” His dad Chris developed that phrase into a story and six-year-old brother Ciaran drew scenes to accompany it. All of this sat in a drawer for nearly nine years, until the family met local artist Kev Stevens of The Art Room North East. An experienced illustrator of children’s books, Kev took Ciaran’s original artwork and developed it for publication. The rest of the Lines family added suggestions, including mum Catherine, and youngest son Samuel, who hadn’t been born when the story was first written and drawn, and who proved to be a useful one-person test market.

Here come the Dooblies is set in Cupboard, a world that is populated by characters called Alphazooblies, based on the letters of the alphabet. The story introduces readers to the Dooblies, along with the ‘horrible’ Hooblies and various other Alphazooblies, who star in an illustrated adventure in rhyme. Alliteration features heavily in the book, which sets out to entertain and educate, helping children aged from around four to learn more about, and enjoy, letters and words. As keen supporters of libraries, the Lines family has marked the publication of the book by visiting Sedgefield Library and donated some copies to be lent to readers in the local community.

l-r Samuel, Ciaran, Charlie, Catherine and Chris Lines during a visit to Sedgefield Library to promote Here come the Dooblies

Chris Lines comments: “Back in 2010, Here come the Dooblies was a really enjoyable little family project and gave Charlie and Ciaran a great opportunity to release their inner creative Cooblies! We’ve always felt that the story was good enough to share with the world in a book and when we showed it to Kev, he was just as enthusiastic. He’s done a brilliant job of adapting Ciaran’s original designs and drawings and we’re over the moon with the end result.

“We’ve already got ideas in development for future Alphazoobly books and of course there’s plenty of scope with 26 core characters in Cupboard. But we shouldn’t try too hard to zoom like a Zoobly – first and foremost, we’re focusing on the job of letting children and parents know about Here come the Dooblies. Samuel loves his local library in Sedgefield and was keen to help spread the word by delivering some copies to the team there. We really hope that everyone enjoys the book!”

Kev Stevens of The Art Room North East at work on Here come the Dooblies
An early version of a Doobly by Ciaran Lines, alongside Kev Stevens’ adaptation

Kev Stevens adds: “When Chris asked me if I would be interested in creating the illustrations and artwork for Here come the Dooblies I literally jumped at the chance and I have loved working with the Lines family on the book’s development. Ciaran’s original drawings were so appealing and well-designed that I simply followed them, ensuring that the finished characters were as close and as true to them as possible. It wasn’t long before I was totally immersed in the Alphazooblies and the world of Cupboard. Their personalities and character traits developed with each hand-illustrated drawing as this first story unfolded. I now have a real soft-spot for each Alphazoobly and their individual appeal. This is the start of a whole new series of adventures. I hope that everyone enjoys the first story as much as I have.”

Samuel Lines adds copies of Here come the Dooblies to the Sedgefield Library collection

Here come the Dooblies is available to buy for £4.99 at www.thedooblies.com or by emailing info@thedooblies.com. You can also follow the adventures of the Dooblies and fellow Alphazooblies on social media by finding @TheDooblies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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