A budding young artist with a talent for writing as well as drawing used his lockdown inspiration to create, illustrate and publish his first book in little over three months.

Josh Harris, 16, from Burbage wrote The Comfy Cloud Community as a simple story to teach young children the valuable lesson of equality and has self-published it on Amazon.

The keen artist, who picked up his love of the written word through his school’s creative writing club, said the idea came from his determination to do something positive with his free time during lockdown.

Josh, who is a pupil at Hastings High School, wrote, illustrated and edited his book in just a week, before using the following months to get feedback from family, friends and Scout evenings, where he is a junior leader.

Josh said: “I have been a keen artist since the earliest stages of my life and I have always dreamed of illustrating my very own kids’ book but, as a young writer, opportunities are limited, hence why I chose to self-publish my book.

“I chose to focus on clouds as it goes without saying that no two clouds will ever be the same and there are parallels between clouds and humans in this way.

“Humans, much like their cloudy counterparts, are all equal, no matter what their shape, size or colour happens to be. The book offers children a bitesize view on inclusivity in a fun-filled and impactful way.

“Each of these stories has themes of self-development and societal improvements as I feel that certain issues and ideologies are worth projecting to the younger generations as soon as possible.”

Josh is due to start an art and design course at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in September, which he hopes will set him up for a career in the field.

He added: “In the shorter term, I would love to release more kids’ books projecting a similar message in different ways, to make these positive life lessons available to as many children as possible.

“It would also be my absolute dream to do book signings in primary schools and ultimately get a best seller. My long-term plan is to become an illustrator but, if my writing also manages to inspire others, it would be great to combine both writing and illustrating in my full future career path.”