FloraFeatures is the home of the books created by John Stoke and Brenda Leese.
John first wrote the stories about his granddaughter Mary after observing her interaction with their pet cat Flora and thought it would be nice to read them to her when she visited their Lakeland home. Originally done on a word processor with photos popped in for illustration, the stories proved a hit with Mary so he decided to publish them in a series of books. To do this, he enlisted the help of a book designer and an illustrator, both local to the area, and ‘Mary’s Animal Friends’ soon appeared, to be followed shortly after by ‘Mary and Flora’ which had two stories: ‘Flora to the Rescue’ and ‘Mary’s Numbers’. The third book; ‘Mary’s Birthday’ was published in Summer 2018.
THE REAL FLORA
Flora is a real cat. She was a rescue cat who was found as a stray. We adopted her when she was about 5-7 years old – we could not be sure. She has clearly come from a good home and must somehow have got lost. She soon settled in but early on decided that she would be a house cat – and who could blame her? Our conservatory is hot in summer and cold in winter. In summer she takes herself there and lounges in the warmth on a chair (see picture) and sometimes goes outside and finds the most comfortable spot to have a rest. Her favourite occupation (apart from eating) is sleeping!
One day, not so long ago, when we were sitting together on the sofa I’m sure I heard her whisper very very quietly that she very much likes being the star of the Mary and Flora books. How nice is that?