Meet Albertina Tiger Jones, jungle vet. She was the first character I put into a storybook for my then six-year-old daughter. In our house there were always stories before bedtime. For a while they were read out at a ration of three picture books each night. For a while there I could recite The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Farmer Duck word perfectly :)
Then we moved on to made up stories. Albertina Tiger Jones was made up by my husband. She had various adventures night after night, most of which we made no note of at the time. Then Christmas was approaching and I thought it would be fun to make a storybook of some of the stories with interactive elements. As you can see, I made an Albertina so that she could move through the story and you could make speech bubbles come out of her mouth.
I illustrated each page with ink pads, stamping, drawing and stickers. Here you can see a bag of monkeys. Some of the leaves on the page are on foam pads so that the monkeys' paws can be hooked over and they can swing through the trees.
This chameleon has wobbly eyes.
When lunch-time comes along, you can decide what Albertina has in her sandwiches - ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce. You can pop them on to the foam bread and flip the other piece over the top.
Here Albertina helps a snake that has managed to tie itself into a knot on a branch.
And this is the tapir that gives her a ride through the jungle.
Finally, this is Albertina's bag which you can open up and look inside.
What these photos don't show are the three wind-up monkey toys that are attached to the bottom of the book with string, the rubber chameleon that pokes its tongue out when you squeeze it, and the bag of plastic flies that the chameleon has for dinner.
It was a lot of work, but the reaction on Christmas morning was worth it. She looked up with shining eyes and said, "Can you do a Magilla the Police Gorilla one for my birthday?"
You can meet Magilla in my next post...