Monday, August 22, 2016

Maxwell the Monkey Barber - a bookwrap


"Maxwell the Monkey Barber"

Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Ages 3-7

Unwrapping some fabulous illustrations to peek at...

About the book...

This charming tale is a delight to read.  A good-hearted, generous little monkey puts on his thinking cap and utilizing the adage: reduce, reuse, and recycle... greatly increasing his clientele numbers.

Animals off all shapes and sizes visit his barbershop to get coiffed-supreme.  He snips, trims and extracts to perfection always complimenting his customers by saying:

"And before you go,
might I say,
You're hair's 
the best
I've seen today!"

Then one day an elephant enters his shop who is sad and downhearted.  He is suffering near hypothermia because he has NO hair on his head. What is a poor elephant to do?  Maxwell examines Mr. Elephant closely, and scratching his head, tells him to come back tomorrow for the anti-dote to the bald elephant's predicament.  Pondering, thinking, puzzling, wracking his brain way into the night Maxwell finally reaches an Eureka moment!  Clever little monkey has just the thing to put a smile on the downtrodden elephant's face...can you guess what it might be?

The illustrations are bright, colourful, vibrant and enrich the storyline to perfection.  The book is written in rhyme (something kids will love) and the humour depicted will have kid's smiling all the way to the end of the book.  Sheer delight.  I highly recommend this book.

About the author/illustrator...

Cale Atkinson is a freelance illustrator, animator, and writer currently living in Kelowna BC. His work can be seen in children's books, animated shorts, video games, television, comics and more! He has a love for creating stories whether told in an animation, book or single illustration. 

What part of Canada are you from Cale?

I am definitely a west coast chap. I was born and raised in Vancouver BC, and since then have lived in a couple other cities in BC.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I suppose I would say my style is simple shapes and strong colours with a retro feel. Hopefully that makes sense!

What type of animation projects have you worked on?

I have worked on a number of small animation projects but never something as large or polished as a feature film. I’ve done a handful of different roles from animating characters, to doing background or character design. These have ranged from television, video games, online properties, and personal projects. From my experience I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer to animate on my own personal projects rather than to do it for others. Animation takes so much blood, sweat and tears I have found it hard to put that into a project that I do not have my heart or passion invested in. Regardless I still can’t say I ever had a ‘bad’ experience working on any of the past animation projects.

What projects are you working on now?

A lot of my work is currently in Children’s Publishing. I am currently working on three children’s books that I wrote and illustrated (2 for Disney Hyperion and 1 for Owl Books) and another two that I am just illustrating. I am also working with a game studio here in Kelowna BC called Hyper Hippo, doing art direction, visual development and design. I do hope to work on another animated short but alas have to wait until the right idea and time permits it!

Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators/artists?

I am a big fan of Nick Cross animated work! I also always found it incredibly inspiring how he makes his own amazing animated shorts.

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Read on and read always!
It's a wrap!

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