A Wirral author's new book aims to help tackle the crisis affecting children’s mental health following the Covid pandemic.

Natalie Reeves Billing's tale Bernie & Boatie follows the magical journey of Bernie and faithful vessel, Boatie, as they set sail on their sometimes perilous but ultimately epic adventure across the Atlantic.

All proceeds from the new book will go to the national Boat of Hope campaign, which will see Liverpool charity guru and adventurer, Bernie Hollywood OBE embark on a 90-day solo sail from the Canaries to Antigua in 2022 to raise £1m for various causes.

The aim is to raise more than £1million for two supporting charities - Samaritans and Love Rowing, British Rowing's Charitable Foundation. Natalie is the early years and primary ambassador for the campaign.

The book has also been produced as an audiobook and animated trailer, with narration from Spice Girl Melanie C and Doctor Who star Sacha Dhawan.

Natalie (pictured, below) said: "I can finally unleash Bernie and Boatie into the world, and I'm so excited to see this important collaborative book in action.

"Like with all my works, behind the story is a very important message about mental health, particularly in young children - and how through talking openly and honestly with our families and friends about our thoughts and feelings we can overcome the storms that life throws at us.

Wirral Globe:

"In this story, the sea represents our emotions, our ups and downs, as we try to find the light beyond adversity.

"Bernie and Boatie is inspired by my dear friend Bernie Hollywood OBE and all proceeds from the book will go to the Boat of Hope campaign which aims to raise money for some incredible mental health charities, and open up a conversation about depression in young people - a subject that I am passionate about.

"By purchasing this book people will be helping a family who are struggling with child mental health and how to navigate it, as well as getting a really beautiful, useful resource for talking about mental health in the home."

Author of The Monstrous Me Collection and Ben and the Bug, Natalie Reeves Billing is described as a storyteller with a mission, whose wicked sense of humour and quirkiness creates worlds and characters that not only enthral young readers, but talks to them openly and honestly about mental health issues.

The Boat of Hope campaign aims to open up a conversation on depression and in particular the young adults it affects.

Bernie and Boatie is published by Natalie's own publishing imprint, Lollipop Lodge, and is available to buy on Amazon from Tuesday.

For more information about Natalie Reeves Billing, visit her website, and on social media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information about Boat of Hope, visit the website.