Not Just a Princess - Introduces new character, Special Olympics athlete, Nora

By Leopold Herter

When Gavin Leonard had difficulties finding empowering stories he could tell his two-year-old daughter, he came up with the idea of creating his own stories.

Since then ‘Not Just a Princess’ was born and Gavin has released a six-book series, selling over 6,000 books worldwide.

Not Just a Princess Gavin Jade new1 compressor

Gavin and Jade

His next work will be out this month. A little different this time ‘Not just a Princess’ is working together with Special Olympics Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland in a charity partnership.

To coincide with this, new character Nora, who is a Special Olympics athlete and a lifeguard, gets introduced in the up-coming story.

 “It’s fantastic that the lead character in the book, Nora, is based on a Special Olympics athlete,” said Matt English, CEO of Special Olympics Ireland. “We continue to see the important role that sport plays in celebrating children and athletes with an intellectual disability. Sport provides athletes like Nora with new skills, increased confidence, and lifelong friends.

This book is a great way to speak to a younger audience in their own language and continuing the message of diversity and inclusion.

We’re delighted to be involved.”

Gary Owens, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland, is delighted with the collaboration too, he said: “Down syndrome should not define who a person is and what they can do and achieve and the ‘Not Just a Princess’ book really reflects that.

As people with Down syndrome are given opportunities to lead more inclusive lives, we see more and more what they can achieve, and we are very proud to be part of that journey.”

Author, Gavin told The Echo about why he wanted to publish a charity book. “We have had such amazing support over the last 12 months and we really wanted to do something to give back to the community – a charity book seemed like the perfect way to do just that,” Gavin said. “I’m so pleased to feature ‘Nora’ in this book alongside Princess Jade.”

The character itself is based on his real-life niece Nora. “Our families have been close for a long time, and watching Nora grow up, I have always been so amazed at her determination and her kind heart.”

Gavin’s goal is to create powerful role models for young girls and boys, and to raise money for Down Syndrome Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland.

“We are hoping to raise €20,000 and want all of Ireland to get behind the initiative for these brilliant organisations”, said Gavin.

 Over €10,000 has already been raised in a Kickstarter campaign back in March, making this whole project possible.

“It is a dream come true to partner with Special Olympics Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland – my hope is to sell as many books as possible and raise as much money as we can for these two fantastic organisations.

“Full details of the story-line will remain under wraps until the launch this month, but I’m confident that ‘Not Just a Princess’ supporters will be delighted with the latest instalment in the series,” concluded Gavin.

Not Just a Princess charity book is now available to order from the website

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