THE HIDDEN CREATURES OF HACKNEY
The Hidden Creatures of Hackney is seen through the eyes of Kiran and Karma: two children living in the London borough of Hackney, one of the highest density communities in the UK.
We join them as they explore their neighbourhood in search of a hidden magical world. The journey begins with a map, which the children find when playing in Granny’s attic. The map includes instructions for making devices called “Imagi-scopes”. Using these devices and through the power of imagination, Karma and Kiran can see and interact with otherwise invisible magical creatures who inhabit each location.
Along the way, the children enrage a squirrel druid, are nearly kidnapped by hairy Vikings, avoid being turned into fairies by a devious fox, and save their toes from being eaten by tiny aquatic tigers. There’s more to discover as they explore this make-believe world, eventually arriving at a strange fancy dress funfair, which seems entangled with the magical world of which they have journeyed through.
The Hidden Creatures of Hackney is a fantasy-adventure for developing readers
aged 5-10, and is inspired by Scandinavian picture books, which combine vibrant imagery with longer copy to encourage children who are moving out of picture books but aren’t quite ready for chapter books.
The result is a bit of a hybrid: A hero’s journey, written in verse, with a hint of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a smidge of The Hobbit, a touch of The Gruffalo and a pinch of Pokémon GO.
You don’t need to live in Hackney or even London to enjoy this book. The story relates to any dense urban environment (where the majority of children live). The message is that there are always special places to be discovered, little known pockets where beauty can be found, trees can be climbed, forts can be built and fantasies come alive – you just need to switch off the TV, put down the tablet and explore.
MEET THE MAIN CHARACTERS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m Ben Eady, an award winning creative director with 20 years industry experience across all sorts media including print, digital, video and animation. For the last 2 years I have been writing, illustrating and designing The Hidden Creatures of Hackney. I’m also the doting dad of a 5 year old boy named Kiran, who is the inspiration for one of the main characters in the book.
Two sample narrated chapters
Do you have a special magical place you'd like to share?
Or have you created your own special story for one of the places in the book – I'd love to hear about them. If you have any inquiries, please reach out and contact me (Ben Eady), by email or social media: