From average to audacious

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Midmost Marvin author Callan Goodall (left) and illustrator Shaun Yeo.

AN Invercargill duo has teamed up to create Midmost Marvin, a funny, fast-paced children’s book of daring-do characters who are easy to relate to.

Author Callan Goodall said his background as a teacher had encouraged him to put pen to paper for his first book.

Reading to children a lot as a teacher, together with an enjoyment of “playing around with words”, meant it was inevitable, he said.

“It was something I had always wanted to do.”

Teaming up with freelance cartoonist and illustrator Shaun Yeo was a bonus.

“Good picture books are great to read to kids… to get them engaged into reading,” Goodall said.

Together, the duo created the 30 page, hard cover, children’s book which would appeal to school-aged children.

Written in a catchy rhythm and rhyme style, with the poster-prefect graphics, it was an ideal book to either read, or be read.

Goodall said he didn’t know how Marvin’s story would evolve… that it “morphed as I went along”, so he too was surprised how it ended.

“The potential of the story was in the character, Marvin, so I never knew how the story was going to end, which created an element of suspense.”

Yeo said Marvin was an average kind of kid… apart from his one great love: skateboarding. That was until new girl Millie came to town.

“Marvin creates a new dashing look and attempts to impress her… and a stupendous skateboarding stunt over Death Valley.”

Goodall said “everyone has a sense of average about themselves”… but in the end, “it is about being true to yourself”.

The story made it easy to illustrate, Yeo said.

“Callan sent the manuscript to me. I didn’t know him prior to that, but it stood out… it was a cracker.

“I really wanted to illustrate this book. There is so much art to it… there is a good balance of art to words.”

The duo praised publisher Bateman Books, in Auckland, saying “taking the risk on a new author is a big deal”.

  • A book launch of Midmost Marvinwould be held at Young Reflections, Tay St, on Wednesday, September 9, at 4.30pm, with the book on sale at all good book stores.
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