Belfast author, Rob Parker, pens top new children’s football book for Christmas

A Belfast business owner is the author of a children’s picture book that features on a list of Amazon’s top new releases.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 5:00 pm
Rob Parker, who runs the Voz Media copywriting agency, has written Europe At Your Feet
Rob Parker, who runs the Voz Media copywriting agency, has written Europe At Your Feet

Rob Parker, who runs the Voz Media copywriting agency, has written Europe At Your Feet, which recreates memorable goals for young football fans and their parents.

The book celebrates the greatest goals ever scored at European Championships. Players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Gascoigne and Marco van Basten are among those featured. Each goal is brought to life in rhyming commentary by Rob, while Spanish illustrator Lawerta has captured every iconic moment across a double-page spread.

Rob said: “The book is a fun way for kids to bond with their parents over a shared love of football, while also learning to enjoy reading and poetry. Just like our previous football picture book World At Your Feet, we’re getting really positive feedback. Parents of young football fans who are usually reluctant readers have told us our books have got their children into reading.”

World At Your Feet, which was published in 2018, features famous World Cup goals scored by the likes of Diego Maradona, Pele and Dennis Bergkamp.

Rob, aged 34, says there is one notable omission from the new book that has been raised by friends and family.

He revealed: “When people heard I was writing a book featuring goals from the Euros, there were quite a few lobbying for a certain Gareth McAuley goal to be included. As momentous as McAuley’s goal against Ukraine was, I had to take each goal on its merits and think about goals that would work in rhyme and be visually different from the norm. So while it was a huge goal, I had to look at it quite dispassionately as a back-post header from a set-piece and realise it didn’t fit the bill on this occasion.

“Maybe a picture book focusing on Northern Ireland’s greatest goals will be next. I’ll have to have a word with the Irish FA.”

Europe At Your Feet’s publication is timely, with Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford having last month launched a book club and a campaign to get more youngsters reading. Writing on Twitter, the England international declared: “Reading is cool. Books are cool.”

Europe At Your Feet is published by Bullfinch Books and is available from www.worldatyourfeet.co or Amazon (£6.99).

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