A FORMER swimming teacher from Salisbury has released her first book, inspired by the children she taught over 12 years.

'The Wonder of Swimming' is a children's book by Debra Franks, showcasing the different swimming techniques she taught during her teaching career in Salisbury, Warminster and Winchester, intertwined with the thoughts and imagination of her pupils.

From seals flipping pancakes to elephants hanging from light shades, Debra wants this story to both educate and entertain children tackling the water for the first time.

At the book’s launch event Friday night, April 29, at The Rocketship Bookshop, Debra told the Journal she hasn’t done anything like this project before, adding it had taken around 12 years – since she stopped teaching - to bring the colourful tale to life.

“I want the book as something that can help children have fun swimming,” she said.

“Ever since I got the idea I knew I had to write it. They say write about what you know and that’s exactly what I’ve done, and this book has become so important to me.”

The mother-of-two said the Covid-19 lockdown gave the illustration team more time to create imagery for the book, and allowed her to delve further into character development, narrative and colours.

But she said it was “the imagination of the kids” that made the final product.

“This is for them,” she said.

Debra, who now works in B&R Textiles, added: “The magic and wonder found in these pages is all down to those children and their incredible imaginations.

“Together we had a lot of fun and I hope this book helps children, parents and carers to see why we teach the things we do.”

The Wonder of Swimming went on sale this week, and can be purchased here.

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