Book News

Chalky and the New Sports Car

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Hey guys,

So as you all know I’m a huge bookworm and I’m also a massive believer in getting kids reading. So when Bronagh at HandwrittenGirl asked me if I would like to get involved with Chalky and the Sports Car I couldn’t say no.

Chalky and the New Sports Car

Belfast based company Little Thunder Co are looking for your help, in making their book series about an inquisitive cat come to life.

The series of books follows the adventures of young Chalky, a stray cat discovered by one of the creators behind the story.

Chalky appeared in Tim Potter’s life in 2002 when he was found sleeping on a plastic bag in his friends shed. Tim ended up bringing the 6 month old tomcat home with him.

The first book of the series is called ‘Chalky and the New Sportscar’ and follows the friendly and adventurous feline, as he encounters a new car whilst exploring the neighbourhood. The series is marketed for 6 months to 5 years old, when children are at their most inquisitive wondering the how’s and whys of life making this book ideal for a bedtime reading adventure.

The pages contain huge vibrant illustrations of Chalky stalking and lazing about whilst the short story, which is created by Tim’s father, Stanley is written in an array of large typography, all fun but importantly easy to consume for the young reader.

The project is currently on Kickstarter and needs £10,000 for Chalky to happen and for each pound that you donate, you shall receive a little treat for your kind support. The lovely people at Little Thunder Co, are offering eBooks and hardback copies of Chalky as well as prints from the story.

Show your support and help out with this great idea, because we all know there are never enough readers in the world and reading as a child is a magical experience that we all remember.

Here is a Q&A to tell you EVEN more.

Q. What was the inspiration behind Chalky the Cat?

TIM: Chalky is a real cat so the inspiration for the story was taken from one of his many daily activities. One could say that he is quite the curious character and he enjoys sitting on the bonnets of cars that have just arrived in the neighbourhood as the engine heat keeps him warm, which we can’t blame him for given the Irish climate. Another past-time is peering up the exhaust pipe’s of cars and as far as Chalky is concerned, the bigger the better. I’m not exactly sure where the fascination stems from but the more of his face he can squeeze up, the better and being a white cat he would often return home with a black ring of soot around his face, which is much to the entertainment of our family.

GABRIEL: He is always up to something and if he’s not investigating new cars in the neighbourhood, he’ll be up a tree chasing off birds. He is well known to everyone living in the area and will usually make his way from house to house, checking out everything that is going on. He particularly likes climbing onto the roof of sheds and settling down for a nap, or just watching the world go by. Coincidentally Chalky was a stray cat whom I found sleeping on a pile of plastic shopping bags in a friend’s shed almost 10 years ago, before giving him a home with my family where he has resided ever since.

Q. When you were a child, what was your favourite book?

TIM: I remember my parents reading me the Peter Rabbit books by my namesake – Beatrix Potter and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I can’t quite remember the story for either but the illustrations stuck with me especially those of the latter. When I was a little older I was a huge fan of Roald Dahl and would really enjoy reading The BFG and Revolting Rhymes.

GABRIEL: Anything by Roald Dahl. The darkness of his stories brought to life through Quentin Blake’s loose ink illustrations were fascinating and frightening all at the same time. I used to spend countless hours drawing my own versions of the Enormous Crocodile and the Fantastic Mr Fox!

Q. What book are you currently reading to your children?

TIM: Julia Donaldson is a favourite in our household. I really love her writing style and ability to make her stories rhyme. I’m currently reading my son Brodie, ‘Monkey Puzzle’, ‘The Snail and the Whale’ and ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’. We’ve just ordered 7 more of her books for Christmas, so we’ll enjoy reading those over the coming months.

GABRIEL: I’m a huge fan of Oliver Jeffers. My 3 year old son loves ‘The incredible Book Eating Boy’ and I have to stop him from taking a nibble from the book at the end! Other favourites include Jon Klassen’s ‘I Want My Hat Back’ and ‘This Is Not My Hat’. I’m amazed how he can create such emotion into very simplistic characters.

Q. If the Kickstarter is successful, what are the plans for Chalky?

TIM: Believe it or not this book is just the first in a series of short stories that my father and author Stanley has written so if “Chalky and the New Sports Car” is successful we plan to develop the Chalky brand and publish more books. We’ll also be introducing new characters including a donkey, a rabbit, another cat and more people. All are real characters based on real animals or people within the family (with the exception of the donkey).

GABRIEL: Being a predominantly digital design studio we’d also like to work on games and apps that extend the experience and character of Chalky onto phones and tablet devices. We’ve some ideas in regards to augmented reality and the possibilities it offers to adding an element of interactivity to the physical world and would like to explore those avenues.

Here is the cover of Chalky and the New Car which I think is absolutely fantastic.

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Here is the link for the Kickstarter project:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/littlethunder/chalky-and-the-new-sports-car-childrens-pictureboo

Go check it out and get involved.

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