The Lord and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth kicked off the launch of a local author’s book on Saturday.
The event, at Cumberland House Natural History Museum, showcased best- selling author Katy Hounsell-Roberts’ new children’s book, Sophie’s Friendly Spiders.
The book follows the story of a young girl overcoming her fear of spiders and going to Zimbabwe on a volunteering adventure.
The guests took part in activities including listening to the author reading excerpts from the book and watching children drawing pictures from the book.
Visitors also got to see some real tarantulas that were brought by Dave Hunt and other members of the Portsmouth Reptile and Amphibian Society.
Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller said he ‘had a blast’ and thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.
He added that he hoped it would be a best-seller.
He praised Ms Hounsell-Roberts for her previous book, Ben’s Bees, which is set on the Isle of Wight.
Later this summer at the New Theatre Royal, there will be a theatre adaptation of Ben’s Bees for children.