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Norfolk Broads celebrated in new book

PUBLISHED: 08:56 24 July 2014

Phil Johnson launches his second children’s book “The Little Blue Boat and the Marsh Man’s Gold!�
Photo by Simon Finlay.

Phil Johnson launches his second children’s book “The Little Blue Boat and the Marsh Man’s Gold!� Photo by Simon Finlay.

Archant Norfolk.

It’s an ode to Norfolk’s stunning waterways – but with an adventurous twist.

Neatishead-based author Phil Johnson, 59, has now published his second book following the twists and turns of Able Sea Bear Teddy, the mysterious Marsh Man and three young Broads explorers.

The Little Blue Boat and the Marsh Man’s Gold is the tale of three children exploring the Norfolk Broads and their quest against a gang set on ruining its beauty.

Mr Johnson, a former journalist, said he wanted to showcase the stunning area as well as promoting water safety.

“I wanted to put something back and see people have the sorts of experiences my children had growing up on the Broads,” the father of three said.

His first book, The Little Blue Boat and the Secret of the Broads, sold out of its initial print run and topped the local bestseller charts last year.

Now in his sequel, Mr Johnson is promoting water safety and hopes it will encourage young people to enjoy the outdoors just like Arthur Ransome did with his book, Swallows and Amazons, set in the Lake District and inspired by the Broads.

Supported by the Broads Authority, the story is set on the southern – and lesser known - area of the waterways.

Mr Johnson even took a trip out with Broads rangers to fully understand his topic. “The Broads are unique and magical,” he said. “Where ever the river goes, there is always a story to tell. They have so much to offer, so much history and wildlife,

“I just wanted to inspire children to look at the Broads, just get out there. There’s so much to see.”

The book, which is illustrated by Paul Jackson from North Walsham, will be launched at Jarrold in Norwich today .

It has already won high praise from Caroline Jarrold, the chair of Visit Norwich.

Have you got a story about the Norfolk Broads? Email Broads reporter Rosa McMahon on or call 01603 772453


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