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Tim, Tam and Smarty Pants - a unique collaboration

Tim, Tam and Smarty Pants - a unique collaboration

I have a fun announcement to make; A children’s book is on its way! Though it’s not the Hound Town story I’ve been promising (this is in the works, however). It is in fact, a collaborative project with a most unexpected co-author and illustrator.

 

two girls holding an artwork one is younger and the other is a woman wearing glasses

 

You see during Covid and all the lockdowns I started drawing and painting with my upstairs neighbour who was 10 at the time. Arabelle not being at school and I having lost the majority of my social life too we turned to each other 😂 And we were in for a wild ride 🤪 We created our first painting which would set the scene for a wacky adventure story we would write and illustrate together and name it Tim, Tam and Smarty Pants.

An illustration of two foxes standing in a forest with a suitcase full of items for an adventure and two blue wrens sit on the heads of the foxes with a speech bubble that reads "the first thing we need for an adventure is a lackadaisical suitcase"

First, we built out the characters then we designed a map to help us structure the story and soon enough we got writing. Taking on the quirky ideas and creativity of a young mind we worked together to come up with something highly original, decently intelligible and overall unconventional. It’s an amusing plot with lovable characters and illustrations painted in watercolour and ink. A Children’s book for 5-10-year-olds and any adult with a penchant for silliness. 

An illustration of a map of Hyperborea a made up place in which the story of Tim, Tam and Smarty Pants takes place

 

It’s unconventional because, for one, we wrote it in a much more wordy format than your typical Children’s book. You can read it chapter by chapter each night (some are just a couple of pages) or it can also be perfect for kids starting to read longer texts on their own. The word count far exceeds any typical children’s book, but it still fits into 30 pages and we think this makes for a nice point of difference! 

 

A photo of a children's book mockup showing text and images inside the book

 

We were a chapter or so off finishing when life got in the way again, but we picked it back up toward the end of 2021 to create the rest of the illustrations and we now we finally have a finished book.

an illustration of items; a flask, a cookie, books, a map of "hyperborea", and a pair of glasses

The next steps are to raise some funds so we can self-publish and get a limited print run out into the big wide world for parents and kids to experience. We’re working on launching a Kickstarter so I’ll keep you posted on how you can donate and what's in it for you!

 

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