Alkimos: Puppy Tails book launch brings together grandmother and student

Irene McCormack Catholic College student Sidney Blake-Stanbury with Pat Torpy. Picture: Martin Kennealey d488250
Irene McCormack Catholic College student Sidney Blake-Stanbury with Pat Torpy. Picture: Martin Kennealey d488250

WHILE Puppy Tails is the story of Laila the boxer dog, it also represents the coming together of two strangers across generations.

Quinns Rocks 85-year-old Pat Torpy has self-|published the children’s book, with illustrations by Year 11 Butler student Sidney Blake-Stanbury.

The duo were brought together by Mrs Torpy’s daughter and Miss Blake-Stanbury’s mother through social media.

Mrs Torpy, who owned the former Espana Tavern in Wanneroo with her husband Brian, said the book of 12 short stories was created from letters she used to write, pretending to be her dog Laila, to her granddaughters when they lived in the US.

Laila the boxer dog with the book Puppy Tails.

“Because it was a children’s book, I needed an illustrator to bring the stories to life,” she said.

“My daughter used Facebook saying her mother had written a children’s book and needed an illustrator.

“The SOS was answered by Sidney’s mother who said her daughter was a talented artist and taking a visual arts course at Irene McCormack Catholic College.

“I contacted Sidney through email, sent her a copy of my manuscript and she answered that she would love to do the illustrations.

“We met the following Saturday morning for coffee at Dome Joondalup and that’s where we met for the next three months.”

In Puppy Tails, Laila and her four canine friends, who call themselves the Musketeers, attempt two adventures.

Along the way they meet two feathered friends, a cat and Santa.

“All of the characters in the book – the dogs, chooks and cat – are real, except for Santa,” Mrs Torpy said.

The book will be officially launched this Sunday at Alkimos News and Gifts, owned by Mrs Torpy’s son Peter and his wife Jocelyn, at Alkimos Gateway.

The event will run from 2pm to 4pm with a wine tasting from Cellarbrations and copies of the book available to buy and have signed. The book can also be bought for $15 plus $3 postage by emailing Mrs Torpy at pattorpy@|iprimus.com.au or for $19.95 on eBay.

The City of Wanneroo has bought six copies for its libraries.