A GRANDAD is excited to launch his books for children.

John Carter, who lives in Mickleton and is a Grandfather to eleven children, has just published his first three children’s rhyming picture books, called The Grandad Stories.

Grandad’s Wheelbarrow, Grandad’s Fish-pond and Grandad’s Red Van are now available to buy in WHSmith in Stratford town centre, and John, who is the cartoon Grandad in the stories, will be in the store to sign his books, all day Wednesday October 30. There is also a free to enter Grandad Stories colouring competition, copies are available in WHSmith.

Like many children’s books, the Grandad Stories came about not as part of any grand publishing plan, but completely by accident.

It all started with Grandad’s Wheelbarrow. John’s father died in 2011 and when he and his son Mark, were clearing the yard behind his house, they found an old wheelbarrow body which had been rusting away for many

years and was full of holes. A little later, they discovered an old barrow wheel with a flat tyre.

John hooked them together and asked Mark to take a photo. He then sent the photo to one of his friends, with the following caption: “John had a spring in his step today, because only he knew . . .One more payment and the barrow was his!”

In 2014, John, being a bit of a rhyme-smith, decided to write a short story about the photo,which he called Grandad’s Wheelbarrow. He posted it on Facebook, and although the story wasn’t particularly aimed at children, when his youngest son Adam, a father of two, read it, he posted “This would make a great children’s story, Dad”

So with a bit of a re-write, it became one . . . followed by nine more, all featuring things which are part of John’s life.