‘Express’ delivery has taken its time . . .

Children's author and illustrator Tim Beaumont, with his first book Dino Express.
Children's author and illustrator Tim Beaumont, with his first book Dino Express.

TIM Beaumont’s new book may be called ‘Dino Express’ but there has been nothing speedy about his efforts to make it into print.

For the 52-year-old author and commercial artist getting his colourful pop-up book for children accepted by a publisher is a dream come true - but it’s one that has taken years of effort and hard work to realise.

Tim, of Spout Hill, Rastrick, is a self-confessed late-starter who describes his determination to get ‘Dino Express’ accepted by a publisher in terms of a personal struggle.

“At times it has been very disheartening and draining but I’ve always believed in what I was doing. I’m just delighted that the book will at last be available for children to read.”

A freelance commercial artist since 1987, Tim is largely self-taught and has long been fascinated by combining story-telling, colour and illustration to entertain children.

The eye-catching brightly-illustrated book combines his love of engines with the understanding that young children are mad about dinosaurs and prehistoric monsters. His Dino Express takes pre-school children on a roller-coaster ride through dramatic adventures and colourful jungle scenery as his characters - Try, Steg and Trex - try to find the biggest dinosaur of all.

“Though it’s been hard work at times I had a lot of fun designing the book and I hope that comes across,” said Tim who now plans to ‘road test’ the book at libraries, bookshops and children’s nurseries.

As a self-employed commercial artist Tim has worked on advertising campaigns, animation and video but always felt that it was in children’s books that his true talent lay.

“I produced an animation for Warner Brothers and it was under consideration for two years before it was eventually rejected. That was a real low point and made me feel like packing it all in.

“My lucky break with this book came when it was picked up by an agent in America, Lori Nowicki, who had faith in me and what I was trying to do and found me a publisher in Running Press. It has just been a lifeline. I came up with the initial idea in 2009 and finally in 2012, the book is being published.”

Tim says the support of his family - wife Julie, 12-year-old son Harrison and step-daughter Nicola, aged 27 - have been crucial in keeping his spirits up and making him believe in the book. “I am a perfectionist and I work away at things for ages until they are exactly right. Without the support of my family I might well have given up.”

Tim was fascinated by drawing as a child and would sketch pictures of footballers and speedway riders for his friends. After leaving school he got a job as a sheet-metal worker but his artistic talents were spotted and he was promoted to work in the drawing office, later leaving to work in the art department at an Elland printing firm.

He is already working on two more books for young children - one about monsters and the other with a jungle theme.

‘Dino Express’ will be launched at Lindley library on Thursday, April 26, with a children’s workshop at 3.45pm followed by a book signing at the Children’s Bookshop, Lindley.