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A very special bear! 

Winston the Bear

Winston was specially designed and made for the book by Catherine's friend, Jo Shepherd. Super talented Jo has a love of sewing and was the perfect person to create the character of Winston. Making a teddy bear was a new and unique challenge for Jo. There were lots of decisions to be made; what colour fur would he have? What size would he be?  What type of eyes would he have? There were a few design tweaks made along the way, but what a handsome bear she made!


Jo is now sewing up people rather than bears and will complete her nursing training this year. 

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The illustrations

Jude Holden, a Dornoch based artist, drew the beautiful illustrations. She also designed and made the cover of the book that Winston is photographed reading in the story. 


Jude began drawing and painting at school and studied Art and Design in college at Aberdeen and then at Edinburgh Napier University. Taking a wee break while raising her children, she restarted drawing and designing again in 2016 and has been taking on commissions and projects ever since, focusing on watercolours and ink work. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

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Winston's fabric design

Winston's ? 

Jude designed the fabric used to make Winston's bow tie which also lines the inside of his waistcoat and hat. The design includes some of the most historic buildings in Dornoch, including the Cathedral, the Dornoch Castle Hotel, The Dornoch Jail and The Royal Dornoch Golf Club. 

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Photographed around Dornoch 

The photographs in the book were all shot in locations around Dornoch. In his search for the dragon, Winston starts in the town centre and visits the beach, the Royal Dornoch Golf Course, Dornoch Cathedral and Camore Woods (called the Black Fir Woods in the book). If you have read the book and know Dornoch, see how many places that you recognise. If you have never been to Dornoch, why not come and explore the town and go on your own dragon hunt! 

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Book launch in Dornoch 

Winston the Bear and the Dragon of the Black Firs was first released in June 2021. Jude Holden created some beautiful Winston the Bear artwork in the Dornoch Bookshop. The book is now stocked in many outlets in the Highlands and can be ordered online with free postage. Click here to order. 

Winston's ? 

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