Hey! How are you today? Fancy being one of the first to own a pre-release, signed copy of the next BIG thing in children's picture books? How about a stunning, limited edition illustration from the book's artist? Then do read on...
My name is Oli Carew. But you can call me Monsieur Odyssey. It’s my pseudonym. The name I use in my books. I’m a writer you see. A children’s picture book writer. And I really, really need your help.
How it all started
A couple of years ago I wrote a book. A rhyming picture book in fact. It’s called The Incredible Chapore and tells the story of a foolish poacher in his bid to catch an amazing and elusive creature called the Chapore. During his journey the poacher encounters Tiger, Gorilla and Snake, all of whom give him a clue about where to find the Chapore, in exchange for their freedom. As the poacher's journey reaches its thrilling climax, the story takes a cunning twist that is a delight to uncover! Here's a small passage:
Creeping around in a jungle one day,
A mischievous poacher was prowling for prey.
He sat on a log, to sip on some tea,
And waited, until there was something to see…
A tiger soon ambled along into view,
Looking for something exciting to do.
Digging about in the plants on the ground,
The poacher soon heard Tiger making a sound...
The idea; Illustrate It
I knew I had to get The Incredible Chapore out there. So last year I had an idea. As I only had the words for the story I decided to host an international online competition called Illustrate It, to find an illustrator for the book. Illustrators were invited to read the story online and upload an illustration of what they thought the front cover should look like.
The entries were voted for by the general public, and the winner won £3000 and the opportunity to illustrate The Incredible Chapore. Here are the finalists:
Why do it?
The purpose of Illustrate It was 3fold.
To give published and unpublished illustrators and artists the opportunity to showcase their talents, and use the competition as a launch-pad for their budding careers.
To allow parents and children to visit the site together, read the book, look through the amazing illustrations, and to have fun choosing which illustration they should vote for.
To find an illustrator for the book, meaning it could be finished and self-published for the masses to enjoy in all its rhyming glory.
Illustrate It has also been set up to support a Children's Charity. For each book that is sold £1 is donated to Shooting Star Chase, a charity that cares for families with a child or teenager with a life-limiting condition.
Hundreds of illustrators entered the competition, and over 25,000 people visited the site to vote for their favourites. Excitingly the book will be published in the coming few weeks.
Below you can see a sneaky sneak peek of the finished book:
So, I think it’s worth doing it all again, which with your help is what’s going to happen :)
This year a new book has been penned, entitled The Lucky Book. For now all I can tell you is it’s about an amazing orange book and the power of positive thinking. Oh, and it’s awesome.
This will be the book for the Illustrate it 2013 competition, if I can find the funding that is.
With your help I’m looking to raise £8,000. This will go towards the Illustrate It 2013 website design and back end development, as well as the prize monies, the design and artwork of the book, and finally publishing costs.
What will you receive?
If you’re a kid, a parent, an artist, or anyone in between, there are some fantastic rewards for pledges, including signed copies of The Incredible Chapore and stunning, one-off illustrations from Jo de Ruiter, the book's artist. Take a look at the column on the right to see the range of rewards available.
And don't forget, if you can't pledge, please share this page with your friends and family via Facebook or Twitter, or simply use the sharing tools available on this site.
Thank you so much :)
Oli Carew (M. Odyssey)
DISCLAIMER: The author will not be held responsible for any brain related injuries to those who read the mind-blowing story of The Incredible Chapore.
The video features the song “Don't Save Me” by HAIM, available under a commercial use Creative Commons license.