This April will see the release of our fifth childrens book, and the final one in this particular series. All of the five titles have been written from Monty's perspective and with that in mind I have tried to encompass the qualities and personality of dogs in general, and the Newfoundland in particular. I always wanted the books to have a sense of fun and silliness but to carry a subtle message of kindness, loyalty and compassion that would hopefully resonate with young and old alike.
I'm not a Pandacow started the series and found Monty as a very large puppy arriving in his new home. Gently teased for being different it featured his journey to find himself. When reading this book to children in schools there is a huge sense of support for him as he meets obstacle after obstacle on his way. You can almost feel them willing him to find out what or who he is, that comes from this lovely innocence that both children and dogs share.
The second book Monty and the Slobbernosserus saw the introduction of Cookie when the last thing Monty wanted was a big bouncy sister. When she lets herself out of an open gate what follows is an adventure filled mainly with slobber, plus some very traumatised creatures and 'hoomans'.
The third book in the series Monty and the Poppit Dragon sees Monty, Cookie and the 'spangles' on a visit to the seaside in beautiful Pembrokeshire, Wales. When Cookie makes a new friend she finds in a cave it seems there must be trouble ahead. Dilys is a dragon unable to fly as she has tiny wings. I definetly wanted to try and include the message of achieving your dreams whatever gets put in your path. Hopefully this is a celebration of our differences and the spirit to overcome adversity. I'm not saying any more but there is a happy ending.
Our festive release, and fourth book was Monty and Friends save Christmas, and centres on friendship, kindness and a bit of magic thrown in there as well. In this book we see Monty, Cookie and the spangles attempt to help Santa on his Christmas eve journey. I'm saying no more just in case you haven't read it yet, as it has a bit of a twist in the tale. This was also my first all rhyming book and I think it worked really well.
This brings us up to date and in April we will release Monty and the Ocean Rescue. Once again featuring the amazing talent that is Zoe Saunders (Whimsicolour Art) This is a book that is already shaping up to be my favourite.
The book centres very much around the issues faced by the creatures living in our increasingly polluted oceans. Our planet in general is facing such huge challenges that it seems clear that unless things change we are in danger of destroying everything around us. Ok, so how do you go about putting that into a book for children maybe as young as four or five and also make adults want to keep reading it? Well it has to fun, packed with adventure be amazingly bright and colourful and it needs a positive message. I know I'm slightly biased but I think we've nailed it, and I am so excited about seeing this as a completed book.
Because of the issues though we don't to stop there. We do a huge number of FREE school visits and this allows us to spread the word to potentially thousands of children. Surely it's the children who are the main chance we have of turning this around. When you look around at politicians and governments you can't see where a solution is coming from. With this in mind we are working with a number of organisations who are actually attempting to do something about this looming disaster. We wanted to choose those groups who we feel have the right ethos and infrastructure to take those young minds to the next level.
We now have a link on our website 'Help our Oceans' and these groups have a page where they can be as proactive as they want to engage more people. This link will be at the front of the book so that anybody can get more involved and find out more.
These are the groups we have on board so far. We will be doing features on them in the coming weeks, but here's a link to their websites. This list isn't exhaustive and if you know a group, or are a group who would like to be involved please get in touch at email@example.com