As a father of three he’s spent years reading stories to his own young children.
And now Mike Henson hopes other parents will settle down to enjoy the book he’s written with their own youngsters.
Mike, 36, is thrilled to see The Nut Stayed Shut available from Amazon and on the shelves of bookshops including Hayling Island Bookshop in Mengham.
He works as a designer for a publisher but it’s taken a couple of years for him to see his own first children’s book make it into print.
The book tells the tale of a squirrel named Rodney who finds three nuts. While the first two prove easy to crack, the third stays shut - prompting Rodney to find ever-wilder ways to prise his treasure open.
Mike said: ‘It all gets a bit wild and crazy. The book is aimed at children aged between three and six and this is the first one that I’ve written.
‘It started as a personal project, just something fun to do and then I put it all together.’
Mike enlisted the help of family and friends to pay for 35 copies of the book to be printed. They received their own copies of the book and the spare ones were sent to publishing houses. The book was taken up by Templar Publishing and released last month. A second book, Surprise, is due to hit the shops in September.
With two boys aged five and three and a four-month-old daughter, Mike’s not short of people to try his stories out on.
He said: ‘It’s been briliiant to see the book published. It’s very exciting.
‘Inspiration comes from various places but it’s often things that the boys have said that makes me think “That would make a good story”.’
‘It’s been good to be able to try out the stories on them.’