AN ISLE of Wight author has used her time in lockdown to complete work on her new book, Give Me a Smile, aimed at children and teenagers.

Freda Coombes began to write short stories for young people in the hope they would be encouraged to find a passion for reading.

Give Me a Smile is a charming story about a little girl who is afraid to go to the dentist. She meets an unusual friend who encourages her not to be afraid. This sweet tale is brought to life with bright and gently humorous illustrations.

Freda said: “For many years I helped to care for children with special needs. They always loved to listen to stories and I enjoyed reading to them.

"This inspired me to want to write for children, but my life was always so busy that I never seemed to have the time until I retired about six years ago.

"I had a few attempts to put my ideas into writing, but never managed to finish them satisfactorily — until now.

"This story came to me one night when I was having difficulty going back to sleep, luckily I remembered it in the morning and wrote it down.

"That is over a year ago now, and it was very exciting to have the story accepted. I have a draft for another story but not with the same characters — I hope the next generations of children will continue to love story books.”

Copies of Give Me a Smile can be purchased directly from Gardners books, by visiting or by contacting Pegasus Publishers on 01223 370012.