AN INDEPENDENT publisher founded by a former-teacher, has launched its latest book to an audience of Blackwood school children.

The book was launched on Tuesday by independent children’s publisher, Burst, founded by former Libanus Primary teacher Simone Greenwood.

Author C.G.Hickling, read a chapter of his book, Toby Gentle and the Winter Assassin, to the children of Libanus Primary School, Blackwood, where he volunteers as a school governor.

The book follows character Toby Gentle who after meeting a visitor on Christmas Eve, is transported to the mysterious Silverbells military academy.

Ms Simone Greenwood, of Burst, said: “I’m so excited that Toby Gentle is the first book to be launched by Burst, as it all started in a school I’ve loved teaching at.

“Events like this are all about getting children passionate about stories and reading; then feeling inspired to create their own stories.”

Ms Greenwood left her teaching post at Libanus Primary in April 2015 to “follow a dream of writing and publishing children’s books.”

The former-teacher stated her company’s mission is to work with schools and libraries to help children produce published books as “not all books should be written by adults and consumed by children.”

She added: “The name of the company comes from the fact that I believe all children are bursting with creativity and imagination, “I want to help pioneer a new type of collaborative publishing where children get a chance to produce their own books too.”

For more information visit