Former Castleford Tigers team-mates link up to release children’s book: Harvey Hippo Finds His Talent

Ben Olawumi
Bureta Faraimo (left) and George Griffin (right)

Former Castleford Tigers teammates Bureta Faraimo (left) and George Griffin (right) have teamed up to release a children's book - Alamy

Ex-Castleford Tigers teammates George Griffin and Bureta Faraimo have come together to release a children’s book, ‘Harvey Hippo Finds His Talent‘.

Written by forward Griffin and illustrated by winger Faraimo, the publication was released on Friday (October 20), telling the tale of Harvey the Hippo, who is excited about his school sports day.

Harvey has to work out which sport he’s a master at, with the book described as an ‘uplifting rhyming tale of perseverance and belief’.

The new release has already gained traction, picked up by regional news outlet ITV Calendar, with author Griffin detailing just how the publication came about via Tiger Talk, Castleford’s official podcast.

George Griffin reveals how he created ‘Harvey Hippo Finds His Talent

He said: “One night, I was reading to my little one, and I just said to my missus, ‘can you pass me a pen and paper?’

“She sort of looked at me and said, ‘why?’ and I said ‘I’m just going to write a children’s book’.

“I do this kind of weird stuff all the time, so she just rolled her eyes at me and gave me the pen and paper.

“A couple of hours later, I’d started something, and she thought it was good.

“I finished it the next day, tweaked up a few little things here and there on the third day, and apparently it was good enough to get published!”

Former Castleford Tigers team-mates link up to release children’s books

Oxford-born Griffin may have had the penmanship to get the words for his book in place, but the veteran has revealed that a review from his young daughter prompted him to get in touch with former team-mate Faraimo, who added the magic touch to really bring Harvey to life.

The pair played together for 18 months at the Jungle before the former United States international made the move to League 1 Doncaster earlier this year.

Griffin continued: “I always knew that Bureta could draw, because he’d doodled down a few bits here around training.

“I tried reading the book to my little one, and obviously with a three-year-old, it’s hard to make them sit there and just listen to a book without it having any pictures. That’s what made me approach our welfare manager Keith, who has been great. He’s helped me out massively.

“He pushed me towards Bureta and said that he could help me out with the illustrations, so obviously I jumped on that, contacted Bureta and he took it with both hands.

“It took a little bit of time to get the style he wanted, because it’s the sort of thing that he’d never done either, but the finished product is outstanding. It’s a credit to him and the work that he’s put in.”

‘Harvey Hippo Finds His Talent‘ is stocked by a wide range of retailers, and a paperback version can be bought HERE via Scratching Shed Publishing for the price of £7.99, with free delivery.

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