A HAMPSHIRE children's author is set to officially launch her latest work at an historic village bookshop. 

Val Anne Lee, poet and wordsmith, has said she is finally ready to unleash the tale of CHARLEY SUPERMOG after it has been kept in Covid-enforced confinement for two years. 

Val, who has lived in New Alresford for some 15 years, will be signing copies of her new novel at the village's prestigious Laurence Oxley bookshop from 1.30pm to 4pm on Saturday, July 23. 

Dedicated to 'cat lovers everywhere', the book follows the journey of a once-scrawny tatty-eared farm cat who by chance gains magical powers from tapping a seemingly innocuous stone.

Transformed by the encounter, CHARLEY becomes totally humanised and takes his young owner and her family on a series of crazy adventures which touch the lives of many. 

Although the book is aimed at slightly older children, Val admitted it would "resonate with adults of a certain era, before computers overtook the world”. 

"I think it’s a shame so many kids spend hours locked in their bedrooms staring at small screens instead of exploring the outside world and all it has to offer," she added.

Val, who said she has been writing for 'as long as she can remember', incorporates humour as a key component to most of her work, providing a ‘secret escape’ and solace in tough times.

Her children's books, of which she has 17 yet to be published, usually carry a moral such as, ‘everyone has something to be proud of’, to encourage youngsters to recognise their own self-worth.

A reluctant exponent of 'the good life', Val juggled her literary endeavours with solely raising her three children with a 'chaos' of animals thrown into the mix.  

Among her much-loved favourites are two books based around Hatchet Pond, the largest pond in the New Forest. 

On the Banks of Hatchet Pond features Dizzy, a beautiful little dragonfly and Podge, an ugly old frog who envies her and wishes he could fly. He actually tries to - with disastrous results - but the two become good friends leading to the book’s sequel in another adventure. Podge Goes Splodge at Hatchet Pond is once again colourfully illustrated and advises youngsters against the 'perils of showing off'.

Alongside her children's work, Val also writes humorous prose for adults which she performs at a monthly fundraising breakfast.

Ample free parking for her signing is available at Long Barn in Bishops Sutton Road - a short walk from the venue.

To find out more about Val's work, visit: kidstories.co.uk