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Local author writes children’s book
It was not Jonathan De La Rosa’s ambition to become an author of children’s books. But after finding it difficult to get a book appropriate enough to read to his one-year-old son, he decided he could have done a better job at writing a book that would appeal to children five years and under. Today he is the proud author of his first children'’ book titled—A Coconuts Life For Me. “I was reading a children’s book to my son one night, and I found the content was quite poor and it really was not suitable for a child his age. “I had also found there weren’t any locally produced books targeted to that age group either. This is really when I thought to myself I could probably do a better job at writing a children’s book.
“It actually took me exactly an hour to form the concept of the book and to create a character,” De La Rosa explained. He came up with the character Husky. According to him he wanted Husky to represent that local Caribbean feel, but at the same time, the character had to be mainstream enough to be marketed internationally, as well.
The book comes to life
Like most, De La Rosa admitted to procrastinating a bit on actually going through with writing and publishing the book. “I had the concept and everything and I just had to write the book and publish it but I didn’t really think it would happen so I did hold back a bit. But thanks to family members and good friends I was encouraged to go through with it and I did,” De La Rosa revealed. “Lucky for me, my sister who also has hopes herself to become a writer, was attending a workshop in Miami hosted by renowned book critic Gloria Rothstein, and she told her of my book and asked her to critic it. She did and she gave me guidelines which I followed,” he added.
Finally satisfied with the quality of the book’s content, De La Rosa then took the sketches of the main character in the book—Husky, to computer animator, Russell Dos Ramos who brought it to life. “After finalising on the character, I went to Paria Publishing Ltd, and I must say many thanks to Jerry Besson and Alice, because they have a project where each year they pick one young author and assist them in publishing their book. “After they read A Coconuts Life For Me, they decided to take it on as the project for the year. They assisted me in getting an ISBN number and getting the book to print-ready stage,” said De La Rosa. Printed in hard cover, the book was published and 250 copies were sold out between November and December, last year. According to De La Rosa, A Coconuts Life For Me is currently available at all leading bookstores nationwide and at Pop In at Ellerslie Plaza in Maraval.
De La Rosa also hopes to introduce the book as an official early reader for pre-schoolers. He indicated that by December he should have another book out titled—The Adventures Of Husky The Coconut. “The book is going to be a series on the character Husky. I am also looking at doing some merchandising with the character and getting it animated for television. “I just want parents to know that the book is well put together. It is not like the conventional children’s book, and the theme of the book is one that our children can relate to because Husky is an all Caribbean character, it is also quite suitable for a child five-years-old and younger.
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