Durham police officer writes children's book about Bull City

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Durham Police Corporal Paul Clark writes children's book

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A Durham police officer shows the Bull City some love by creating a new children's book that encourages local families to be active in their community.

Paul Clark is a corporal at the Durham Police Department and is the author, photographer and illustrator of a book called "Nibbles the Squirrel Explores Durham."

The book helps children become familiar with Bull City landmarks all while helping them learn how to count.

"I want kids to learn everything they can about Durham," Clark said. "It's important to know about the community we live in. It makes us appreciate what we have and encourages our youth to make it better for the next generation."

"Nibbles the Squirrel Explores Durham" by Paul Clark.

He said his work as a law officer impacted his decision to write the book.

"Most officers try to find hobbies outside of law enforcement to balance their life. I think it's healthy for everyone to exercise some type of creative outlet."

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"Eight years as a police officer makes you a very observant person, which probably impacted my decision to use real places and real photography," he said.

Clark uses photographs of Durham with super-imposed illustrations of a wandering squirrel to tell a story. He modeled the book after the sights and places his own family enjoys, such as the American Tobacco Campus, the Life and Science Museum and Eno River State Park.

"I enjoy reading to my kids and I noticed that there weren't many books with real photos. I wanted to make a book that encouraged landmark identification, he said.

"It's great when we are driving around town and one of my children yells out 'Look! The pickle building! Do you think Nibbles is up there?'"

A look inside "Nibbles the Squirrel Explores Durham."

Clark and his wife have three boys younger than 5 and he based his character off of a squirrel in his own backyard that his children have grown to love.

"We can always recognize him because half of his tail is missing. The character's name was originally 'Half-tail' but every time I drew a squirrel with half a tail, it came out looking like a chipmunk, he said.

"I wanted to stick with a squirrel because they are easy for children to find in their own backyard, so I renamed him and gave him a whole tail."

Clark hopes Nibbles and his adventures will encourage to children to learn more about their community by exploring.

"I want kids to get outside and find hidden treasures in the world around them."

"Nibbles the Squirrel Explores Durham" by Paul Clark.

His book is available at The Learning Express, The Regulator Bookshop, Parker and Otis, Morgan Imports, Tiny Toyshop, Ali Cat, and on Amazon.

Clark will be reading his new book at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham on Saturday April 30 at 10:30 a.m. as part of a celebration for Independent Bookstore Day.

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