Coco & the Sunshine Cat is a unique children’s picture book on the theme of being afraid of the dark, illustrated using papercraft.
About this project
COCO & THE SUNSHINE CAT is a children’s picture book aimed at age 2 – 4, written and illustrated by Lizzie Thomas. It tells the story of Coco, a young girl, who is afraid of the dark and how she overcomes this fear through an adventure into the night with a Sunshine Cat. It is highly illustrated using paper craft techniques and recycled materials.
Coco is scared of the shadows in the dark of her room. Unbeknown to her a cat has been watching her and observing her problem. When she wishes for a companion this nocturnal creature reveals itself and encourages her on a journey to the Midnight Kingdom where the shadows live. The cat glows brightly in the night sky introducing itself as the Sunshine Cat. Although initially afraid, Coco discovers that the shadows are friendly and fun; they even have parties. As she dances with her new friends, she dances her fear away. When Coco and the Sunshine Cat return to their life she has a new found bravery and a new found companion. So now if you wonder what your cat is up to at night, it’s probably helping a child sleep tight!
In creating this book I have been influenced by my role as ‘aunty’ Lizzie. I read with various children under 5. I’ve kept the text straightforward making sure it references the images so children can focus on key words. I’ve read my draft book with parents and children at book readings, including story time at a library. I have often been asked to read it more than once in a sitting. I’ve found that even children older than this age category really love the images. I’m confident that this is an enjoyable feel good story that can be read at bedtime, or anytime!
WHAT I’M RAISING MONEY FOR
The book is currently 2/3rds complete. I’m raising money to complete the final 1/3rd of the book and then self-publish it. I have 2 double spreads that I need to construct sets for and photograph professionally. I am also working on a paper cut cover design. I need to continue with photo editing for all spreads and finalise the digital illustrations. I will then work with a well respected self publishing company for the pre-press stage; finalising typesetting, cover design and proofs. I will then go to print with an initial run of 500 full colour 32 page paperback copies, size 21cm x 21cm.
AIMS FOR THE FUTURE
I aim to sell the book within the UK and also reach out to markets such as South Korea and China who took an interest in the illustration style when I attended Bologna Children’s Book Fair and London Book Fair. I am also interested in creating an animation of the book too.
I am a designer/maker specialising in paper craft on narrative themes. I have exhibited widely in the UK taking part in exhibitions such as ‘From Grimm to Reality’ alongside David Hockney and Paula Rego. Overseas I have exhibited in South Korea, Japan, Berlin and America, including a touring exhibition in South Korea alongside Robert Sabuda and Paul Jackson. Within publishing I have contributed to several paper art books. For more information about my work please visit www.lizziethomas.co.uk
Risks and challenges
The main risk I may encounter is delays to the pre-press and printing stages. I have estimated generously to allow time for all processes to be completed without loss of quality, or hair! I am confident I can deliver the book in time for Christmas in the UK.
Alongside my creative work I also work as a book-keeper and am very efficient and organised. I am good with numbers and have prepared a detailed budget.
I am a very focused individual and when problems crop up I move quickly to solutions. I am dedicated to completing this project. I have a lot of passion and drive and have put all my creativity into this book to create something truly unique and enjoyable on a topic that matters to children and parents.