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Harry and the Lost Sheep – hardback release, behind-the-scenes and a giveaway!

Harry and the Lost Sheep was published in 2016 and was the first of the Harry books to be released. Quite a few parents have told me that their little ones love it, so I’m very excited that it has just been re-released in a hardback format, and I thought I’d give you a little look behind the scenes. I’m holding a giveaway as well, so read to the end to learn how you can enter.

How did Harry and the Lost Sheep come about?

In 2014, I heard via another author that John Ritchie Ltd were looking for suitable stories for small children. I’d already begun to write Evidence, the first book in the Search for Truth Series for teenagers, but decided to scribble a few ideas down for a story for little ones. That story was amended and redrafted a number of times but finally ended up as Harry and the Lost Sheep.

How did you find an illustrator?

Ritchies had an illustrator in mind who began to work on the illustrations, but due to circumstances outside of anyone’s control, this didn’t work out. Meanwhile, I heard that Mary Weatherup was keen to illustrate children’s books. I’d known Mary for years, and knew that she is a very talented artist. We met up and discussed the illustrations, and when she sent me the first illustration I was delighted – it was exactly as I had envisaged the artwork to look.

Is Harry based on someone you know?

When I wrote the story, I imagined a typical little boy living on a farm, so Harry isn’t based on anyone specifically. He is called after my cousin’s little boy, who was born very prematurely around the time I was writing the story. That little Harry is now three and is a very active, healthy boy. For her illustrations, Mary used a real life model for Harry – a boy called Finlay who lives in the countryside near Slemish mountain (which is on the back cover).

What are the challenges of writing for this age group?

The main challenge is that the story, and especially the gospel message, has to be simple. I would write a draft, thinking it was as simple as was possible to make it, then send it to others for review, who sent it back asking if I could simplify it further! Another challenge is to keep the wording on each page short and yet suitable for detailed illustrations to hold the interest of the children – always a little more difficult with those pages containing the gospel application, but so very necessary.

Are there plans for any more Harry books?

Harry and the Muddy Pig was released in 2017 and we have plans for another two stories. Illustrating such beautiful pictures takes time, though, so they won’t be available for a little while yet!


Harry and the Lost Sheep is now available in hardback from ritchiechristianmedia.co.uk at £6.99, ISBN 9781912522347




To celebrate the release of the new hardback format of Harry and the Lost Sheep, I’d like to give away a copy. To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post (anything at all – even a smiley face will be enough if you can’t think what to say!). I’ll pick a winner at random on 1st June.

Please note – my website is set up in such a way that comments are only visible after I have approved them, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t immediately appear. Also, apologies to my international readers, but this giveaway is only open to those who have a UK mailing address, due to postage costs.


  • Andrew Williamson

    23/05/2018 at 14:34 Reply

    I’m all for the free giveaway! 🙂 Our ‘Harry and the Lost Sheep’ copy is losing it’s paperback through some tough toddler reading! We have just been teaching Isaac (3) and Hannah (2) the verse ‘Jesus said ‘I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd gave His life for the sheep’, so this is the ideal book to illustrate that very truth! Keep up the good work Ruth & Mary! Solus Christus. Soli deo gloria, – Andrew

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 15:51 Reply

      Glad to know the book’s been well loved, Andrew! Thanks for your encouragement!

  • Lois McCallan

    23/05/2018 at 14:50 Reply

    So glad Harry and the Lost Sheep has come out as a hardback as we found the other one got damaged easily!

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 15:53 Reply

      This one really is much sturdier, Lois. Hopefully it will stand up to toddler hands a little better! ?

  • Julie Drummond

    23/05/2018 at 16:14 Reply

    So pleased to hear that this lovely book is available as a hardback. Love Harry and the Lost sheep and Harry and the Muddy pig stories and our Sunday school children loved them too. Look forward to more Harry stories.

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 15:55 Reply

      Thank you for your encouraging comment, Julie! ?

  • Steven McFall

    23/05/2018 at 16:20 Reply

    Great book for children, would love to read this book to my wee cousin. A great author as well ?

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 15:50 Reply

      Congratulations, Steven! I hope your wee cousin enjoys the book. Please send me your address via the contact form on my website and I’ll get the book posted to you as soon as possible.

  • Lisa Holden

    23/05/2018 at 18:58 Reply

    A hard back book would be great cos Sarah has all the finesse of her mother and u know how delicate I am ? plus Sarah knows finlay so be nice to tell her who Harry looks like .

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:15 Reply

      ? Good to know that Sarah is following in your footsteps!

  • JANET Wilson

    23/05/2018 at 19:06 Reply

    Have recommended this to lots of friends, and bought it as pressies?

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 15:58 Reply

      Glad to hear this, Janet! Thanks for commenting!

  • Joan Steele

    23/05/2018 at 20:49 Reply

    With four Grandchildren now to share Harry and the Muddy pig a hardback copy , would be very welcome

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:00 Reply

      Glad your grandchildren enjoy the books, Joan! Thanks for your comment. ?

  • Beth Martin

    25/05/2018 at 04:39 Reply

    My little nephew was wondering if he would see Harry with his muddy pig at the Balmoral Show! We only saw well scrubbed varieties ?

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:01 Reply

      The weather was too dry this year for proper mud puddles! ?

  • Cherith Donaldson

    31/05/2018 at 15:38 Reply

    Delighted to see there is now a hardback version-our paperback has succumbed to being overloved by a toddler!!! Just waiting for the board book version now? Cherith x

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:04 Reply

      This one should stand up to a little more toddler-love! As for the board book, feel free to lobby Ritchies… ?

  • Simon Brown

    31/05/2018 at 16:54 Reply

    A brilliant story – great to see it’s now available in a more durable format that will hopefully withstand even our boys! Was thinking a board version would be a good as well! Simon

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:08 Reply

      The hardback makes such a difference to it, Simon! A board book would be even more sturdy, but the thickness would maybe make it a little unwieldy!

  • Andrea Kennedy

    31/05/2018 at 18:35 Reply

    Children love reading this book!

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:09 Reply

      Good to know, Andrea! Thanks for your comment. ?

  • Donna Caldwell

    31/05/2018 at 20:24 Reply

    I’d love to read it with my little girl we love bedtime stories

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:09 Reply

      Bedtime stories are the best! Thanks for your comment, Donna.

  • Charlotte Cather

    01/06/2018 at 22:31 Reply

    Hope I’m not too late!! My 3 love Harry and and the lOST sheep, we’d love a more durable copy. ?

    • Ruth Chesney

      02/06/2018 at 16:12 Reply

      Good to know your children love Harry! Thanks for commenting! (You weren’t too late – sorry that you didn’t win this time.)

  • Ruth Chesney

    02/06/2018 at 15:49 Reply

    A big thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and commented. The winner of the hardback Harry and the Lost Sheep is Steven McFall! Congratulations, Steven! ?

    • Steven McFall

      02/06/2018 at 16:52 Reply

      Thanks soo much! Really appreciate it.

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