Skye’s Waggy Tales Official – Springer Spaniel Children’s Books

My name’s Hilary Bailey and I am the author
of Skye’s Waggy Tales. They’re little stories about my dog Skye who is homegrown here in
Islandmagee and my stories are watching Skye in Islandmagee and where we’ve been on holidays,
enjoying ourselves and having fun. I lived in Whitehead all my life, I was born in Whitehead,
lovely place to grow up. Everybody knew everybody, we spent lots of time outdoors. Portmuck is
Skye and Jazz’s favourite place to be. And, as you can see ,it’s a beautiful place. Dog
owners and dog walkers are there during the winter months. In summertime it’s bunged full
of local people who go down there and play in the sand. Skye’s stories are my memoirs
of Skye growing up and the very first story is simply down the lane where we live here
watching her playing with the swallows. I wrote a poem, it started with a poem. Just
watching the dogs interact with each other I thought “they look as if they’re talking”.
Her walking about with the other dogs in the mornings all you’d say was the grass moving
and then her head and ears and the grass moving and her head and ears, the swallows dive bombing
over her head. And I would stand at the gate and laugh and laugh at this pup playing with the swallows. My illustrator, Louis Humphrey is a neighbour, lives up around the corner
from me – also had a springer spaniel dog and I met him one day on the road and I simply
asked the question “would you illustrate children’s story books?” and he said “you let me read
your stories and I’ll let you know whether I’ll illustrate them.” And that was my eureka
moment, that was what made my books because Louis has done such a fantastic job of bringing
them to life. Louis has a marvellous way of setting the scene. Obviously, I give him the
stories, he’s the one who turns the pages and he just does it with such real candour
you know. Some of the expressions are marvellous and he also does our countryside justice. Islandmagee is a lovely neck of the world to be. Skye lives beside the Gobbins, we live
on the Gobbins path. There’s lots to see and do here I am amazed at the number of places
that Skye’s book have been sold around the world. I bought a map, just to put the dots
on where she had been: New Zealand, China, Hawaii, lots of places in America. St Georges’s
market brings the world to me and the books have gone all around the world and that’s
really lovely.

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