• Sean Leahy and Mihály Orodán (Illustrator)

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice

Monday, 27 June 2016

Uhoh, I bet you thought the one place you could avoid political chat was in the blog post of a kid's book, huh?

Well...

Last week one of the biggest decisions these isles have ever had to make came to pass. It may seem slightly over the top to try and tie in this news with our book, but bear with me for a sec.

I've not at any point pushed the topic that is broadly dealt with in The Monster Café. I want to keep the story a surprise as much as possible, but this referendum and the subsequent poisonous displays which have seemingly (in some people's eyes) been legitmised by the outcome have only gone to strengthen the reason I wanted to make it in the first place.

I wrote this book a little over a year ago with a theme in mind; inclusivity. I'm not one for preaching, and thrusting ideals at children brings with it a whole host of moral issues, but plainly "being nice" and accepting those who are not the same as you (and who are more different than monsters?) is an important message to ingrain from a young age, I think. 

Mihály is a European citizen. One who has lived, worked, and started a family in Britain. The results of the referendum and subsequent uncertainties are enough to keep you up at night, but it is the treatment of others off the back of this that really alarms. I am proud to call him a friend and companion on this project, even more so in a time when the themes of the book are of such importance.

Thanks so much again to all of you who've pledged so far. I really hope this little story goes some way to making the future a little friendlier.

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Publication date: TBC
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