Clive Mantle, Joe Sugg and Michael Aspel among stars to praise author's book about 80-year-old tortoise from Gravesend

A tortoise has become the hero of a series of picture books for children at the age of 80.

Albert the tortoise, from Gravesend, stars in Albert Upside Down – the first book in a planned series of publications by author Ian Brown.

The book is available in paperback and eBook. Picture: Ian Brown
The book is available in paperback and eBook. Picture: Ian Brown

The first instalment has garnered praise from a host of famous names, including Youtube star Joe Sugg, television legend Michael Aspel, comedian Paul Whitehouse, 'Allo! 'Allo! star Vicki Michelle and Game of Thrones actor Clive Mantel.

Albert was rescued more than 50 years ago by Ian's wife, Millie.

He was found near her home in Cross Lane East, Gravesend, tied to a garage door. No one came forward to claim him after local appeals, and he has been with the family ever since.

Ian, who has worked as a TV writer and producer for well-known shows such as Top Gear and The Simpsons, drew on his industry experience to produce the picture book.

Albert is the star of the picture book. Picture: Ian Brown
Albert is the star of the picture book. Picture: Ian Brown

The 57-year-old has worked with hundreds of household names, including Harrison Ford, Pierce Brosnan, Simon Cowell, Ant and Dec, Bruce Forsyth, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.

Illustrated by Eoin Clarke, the books are aimed at children aged three and over – but, according to Ian, would appeal to tortoise fans of all ages.

Michael Aspel said: "Ian Brown tells us Albert's heart-warming story, and makes us laugh along the way. Eoin Clarke's illustrations are stunning.

"What a lovely book. What will Albert get up to next? I can't wait."

The story tells of how little garden creatures must come to Albert's rescue when he finds himself stuck upside down.

Author Ian Brown with Albert the Tortoise. Picture: Ian Brown
Author Ian Brown with Albert the Tortoise. Picture: Ian Brown

Themes of kindness and teamwork are brought forward as reader's follow Albert's trials and tribulations.

Ian, who lives in East London, said: "Real Albert will genuinely find himself upside down now and then.

"I started to think what would happen if the humans weren't around to put him the right way round.

"And then the first Albert story was born. It took a long time get a book deal but now that dream has come true.

"After 30 years writing and producing for many household names, people might assume it was easy to get a book deal.

"I'm like a kid again, I'm so excited..."

"But it took me decades of trying. I'm like a kid again, I'm so excited. Tortoises are seen as steady creatures who persevere. I suppose there is a lesson in that. If you can, keep trying."

Joe Sugg said: "A great little story of coming together to help those in need and fantastically illustrated."

Clive Mantle described the illustrations as "sensational."

He added:"A dilemma only teamwork can resolve, and it contains acrobatic ants, what more could you want?"

To purchase a copy for £7.99, visit Graffeg.

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