Children's author dedicates book to daughter
When shadows and monsters popped into his preschooler’s bedroom when the lights were turned off for the night, Brian Robinson’s imagination came alive, too.
A children’s story played out in his head that would help his then three-year-old daughter to conquer her fears and to calm her nerves before bedtime.
Last fall, after mulling over the plot and jotting down some rhymes and illustrations, Robinson overcame his own fear: he put pen to paper and wrote the book.
And last month, with the help of a few friends with university degrees in English who are skilled at copyediting, Robinson self-published Manfred Under the Bed.
“I’m really pleased with it,” the Coquitlam resident said, flipping through the pages he’s read many times over to his two daughters, Brienna, now six, and Kyla, two.
In a nutshell, the plot centres on Brienna, who clings tightly to her Bedtime Bear but, one night, it slips from her clutch, falls to the floor and is swiped by Manfred, a hairy beast who lives under her bed.
Brave Brienna plucks up the courage to talk to the big loaf who, as it turns out, is afraid of her as well. Manfred returns Bedtime Bed and the pair become fast friends after a hug.
Still, there’s much more to the children’s book than the plot.
Robinson, a graphic artist, digitally painting every scene using vibrant colours such as purple, pink, black and yellow.
The one-dimensional characters are effective, too: Manfred is depicted with fangs, horns and big hands and feet while Brienna is portrayed as a sweet, wide-eyed girl who is dressed in purple pajamas with a red heart in the centre.
“Being an animator, you also have to be storyteller so the illustrations came easy for me,” said Robinson, who studied at the Vancouver Film School and used to work for Electronic Arts and Vanguard.
So far, Robinson said, the book has won rave reviews. This month, he read it at two Coquitlam daycares and to students at his old elementary school in Mission.
Robinson has printed 500 copies of Manfred Under the Bed and he already has plans to compose his second children’s book. “It’ll be something humorous,” he said.
• To buy Manfred Under the Bed, visit amazon.com or www.brian-robinson.ca.