Bertie and Boatie written by Natalie Reeves Billing Illustrated by Lisa Williams #Review


This book follows the real-life journey of Bernie Hollywood, OBE as he undertakes his greatest endurance challenge yet for charity. As part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Race 2022, Bernie will be rowing solo for up to 90 days across the Atlantic Ocean. The story tells the tale of a young boy and his boat who face multiple ups and downs and sea. Together they discover there’s nothing to fear and a problem is halved when it’s shared with a friend. 

Bernie and Boatie, the official children's resource for the #BoatofHope project will be available to buy on Amazon and other good bookstores from the 12th of October 2021. All proceeds go to the Samaritans and Love Rowing charities and will help us to set up the first children's mental health network in high schools across the UK.

To hear more about our campaign and how you can get involved, please visit our website at

Free Bernie and Boatie resources for home and lesson planning are available at

Get Ready for a life-changing adventure!

Bernie and Boatie face an epic journey across the stormy seas, which will test their friendship and their mettle to the max. Will they overcome their fear and make it to the island across the ocean?

All aboard the #BoatofHope

‘’Bernie and Boatie’’ is a hugely powerful way to tell the story of this inspiring journey and bring hope to people.”

Julie Bentley, CEO, Samaritans

What Natalie has created is not only a wonderful treasure for families and children to enjoy together, but a clever and compelling piece of storytelling that brings these important issues to life in a thought provoking and age appropriate manner.

Clint Wilson, ParentPay

This is a very special book

I wish I would had something like this when I began struggling with my mental health as a boy. I know it would have really helped me.”

Jonny Benjamin MBE

This is a useful resource for teachers and parents to use to address children's mental health and to encourage dialogue about bringing hope and working as a team. It is a bright and colourful picture book with bold illustrations which complement the text. It encourages the reader to concentrate on positive outcomes. Written in verse, it lends itself to being read aloud or shered with a child. There is a Hope Spark illustration to look for on each page to engage young children. 

Cat and Mouse say: Pause for positivity and look for the spark of hope!  

About the Author

Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.

Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.

Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.

Connect with Natalie on Twitter @BillingReeves 

Thanks to Natalie Reeves Billing and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Check out the rest of the tour!




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