Saturday Star

Boy, 7, writes book to honour father


A Seven-year-old boy, whose father died of Covid-19, has written a book about the huge impact he had on his life and hopes to inspire others to read.

The book, titled I Miss Daddy, is expected to be launched and published later this month with the collaborat­ion and assistance of his mother, former editor of the Big Issue magazine, Alicia English.

Matthew English is in Grade 1 at Liesbeeck Primary in Mitchells Plain.

Alicia said the idea for the book began when Matthew needed a way to express his emotions after his father, Noel English, 45, a devout Christian and an exemplary father to three boys, died.

She said the book would be issued for free to schools in less-establishe­d communitie­s as a comfort for children who have lost a loved one and to encourage reading.

She added the book would also be available for sale and would be launched on August 25 on what would have been Noel’s 46th birthday.

She said Matthew had a strong relationsh­ip with his father and the book was dedicated to the role he had played in their lives.

“The book is written in Matthew’s own words as a Grade 1 pupil,” said Alicia.

“It was initially just something personal for him as a keepsake where he could go back and read about his emotions and how he was feeling.

“It was about how children deal with grief whereas we as adults have our own way of dealing with it. No two people grieve the same.”

She explained that as a family, they searched for something that would capture who their hero was.

“His father lived a Christ-like life and he lived for his family,” said English.

“The book is to show children that it is okay to grieve and to show your emotions.

“During my childhood, my father used to buy the Cape Argus and there was the Jelly Bean Journal, it took me places, I became a journalist and an editor.

“We hope that children who will read this book will have an impact, a purpose and take them places.”

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