Tyrone couple hope new kids GAA book will be a ‘bedtime favourite’

Claire and Aidan Johnston, who are hoping to publish a children's book based on the theme of Gaelic games.
Claire and Aidan Johnston, who are hoping to publish a children's book based on the theme of Gaelic games.

When a Cookstown woman and her Co Down husband found they weren’t able to buy children’s books based on Gaelic games for their nieces and nephews, they set about creating their very own.

Billed as “a brilliant story that will brighten the faces of children everywhere”, Bernie Wins the Match, by Claire and Aidan Johnston, could well be on the shelves of local bookstores if the couple can raise enough money to fund printing costs.

Claire and Aidan have already raised a large part of the necessary money to realise their literary dream, and are hoping GAA supporters in Tyrone and Down will come together and help them.

The couple explain how the project came about: “Last Christmas we both wanted to buy a Gaelic-themed children’s picture book for our young nieces and nephews. But when we couldn’t find one we decided to write it ourselves. Together we developed our own idea for a fun and engaging story and wrote Bernie Wins the Match.

“Bernie is a little bear who dreams of pulling on his county’s colours and playing in an All-Ireland Final. But as a young cub, nobody believes that he can.

“Through wonderfully written fast-flowing rhyme and featuring bright, eye-catching illustrations, we follow Bernie on his adventure to Croke Park. Inspired by the experience of every sport-loving family in Ireland, Bernie Wins the Match captures the excitement, nerves and family traditions of a journey to Croke Park on Match Day.”

Claire and Aidan say they believe the book has the potential to become a “bedtime favourite” for children and adults alike, and have set up a crowdfunding page at www.kickstarter.com/projects/207992810/bernie-wins-the-match-childrens-picture-book

You can also find out more by following @BernieBelieves on Twitter.