TO say a book penned by a six-year-old boy from South Derbyshire has been well-received would be a bit of an understatement – after it attracted praise from none other from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Jake Dolman managed to warm the hearts of Prince William and Kate Middleton after a copy of his book, which began as a way to express his feelings following the death of his grandfather, was sent to the royal couple.
It has been a whirlwind few months for the Woodville schoolboy, whose book, entitled My Best Granddad, has not only attracted the attention of royalty but also supermarket heavyweights who are said to be interested in putting copies on sale, while a branch of Tesco in Ashby has enquired about setting up a book signing.
But the excitement reached its peak when a letter addressed from Kensington Palace dropped onto the Dolmans’ doormat.
The Duke and Duchess said they were particularly touched by the fact Jake had decided any profits - or should that be royalties? - that came from the venture would be donated to mountain rescue charities – something Prince William knows all about as a former RAF search and rescue pilot.
His mum Selina Dolman, of Brunt Close, said: “His granddad passed away recently and it helped him with his emotions and dealing with everything. He was very upset, he was very close to his granddad and he had a lot of questions and it helps him cope.”
Jake, a pupil at Albert Village Primary School, began drawing pictures of his grandfather accompanied by his memories and feelings.
And with talk of supermarket interest and book singings, it’s clear Jake could have a big future.
Mrs Dolman said: “It’s a moving book and it’s all his own work, everyone who reads it cries. His head teacher read it and he was crying. He wants all the pupils to see it. I think it’s going to be quite a big thing.”
The family was surprised to receive the response from the Duke and Duchess, but Mrs Dolman admitted she was most taken aback at how personal the letter was.
She said: “It was really exciting. You don’t expect a reply, and if you do get one you think it will just be an automated response.
“We sat down and decided what charities to pick and chose mountain rescue as it was a bit different. We knew of Prince William’s involvement but didn’t realise he was patron of Mountain Rescue England and Wales.
“How personal the message was amazing and shows that they’ve actually held it in their hands.”