Creating Monkey Blue and Friends
Monkey Blue, began as Curious Cian, I would right down my sons antics. I would push a new teddy or a grabby on to him but to no avail, he was given a monkey teddy at birth and though it was starting to wear, label chewed off it, dry biscuit gathered round its ears, he was going to stay loyal to it. The monkey has blue feet. So from that came Monkey Blue, therefore, from the stories I had gathered for Curious Cian, those changed to Monkey Blue the book was formed.
Monkey Blue only came to life because of a writing scholarship I received through the Making Magic Happen Academy. Therefore, as well as creating and growing the Monkey Blue Collection I am also on a very exiting journey with MMH, I was one of only 6 selected for the programme and I am learning the art of self publication through them.
I was so surprised at how quick Monkey Blue came to life, (if of course you commit and invest completely in to it). I’m surprised that a few weeks ago I was creating the first Monkey Blue book and I now, not only have my first book ready for release but my website complete and I have the 2nd and third book at the illustration stages.
Monkey Blue started the process for my book collections, so he has to my favourite. I’m personally all about the moral. I would said before, a punchline or a strong ending with principle, always does it for me. I obviously have to promote rhyming books as that is my style but they are “genuinely” my favourite kind of stories, they flow better, the parent can read them a lot easier, the child understands them more. After putting a book down after reading it to my son I like to know that he learned something from it.
Monkey Blue covers the importance of healthy eating and walking, but the most important element of the book is friendship morals – how kids should open themselves up to others regardless of their shape or size or appearance. I tried to show the different variation of characters from having Geoffrey the Giraffe a soft, silly, innocent but helpful character to Millie the Caterpillar, small, silent but strong. She influences Monkey Blue more than the others which you would find hard to believe on first appearances. The book demonstrates how each person’s input is just as important as the next and it shows examples of how groups of friends need each other. Unfortunately, it takes kids a while to find their confidence, we all look back and think ‘I wish I would have had the confidence to do that when I was young’. I want to install that in kids so they have the confidence to branch out and meet new friends and let others into their “gang or group of friends”.