Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inventing a monkey

Telling stories is something I've enjoyed all my life. Even when I was really little I made up stories.  I like to create characters and creating a different kind of world. When I grew older I started telling my siblings the same story about a little monkey for years (with the same characters, but many different adventures) and somehow the characters from that story have been growing along with my siblings and me.

 In that story my siblings always demanded that the little monkey had to do something "crazy" or "scary" or "funny", but most importantly of all he had to be an adventurous monkey. Slowly a storyline started to grow in my head. This was also the moment where I knew I had to write a book with Tahira.

The most difficult part of creating the story was to actually give my characters a personality, and with this personality they also had to start looking unique. This is where I started searching for the perfect type of monkey.

Since there are lots of famous monkey chimpanzees (like Curious George, just to name one) I knew it couldn't be a chimpanzee. (Although they are so adorable too and actually my favorite monkeys!) I thought of a gorilla for some time but again I knew too many famous gorilla stories.

 This is when I started researching monkeys on the web (my eyes would spin at the end of the day, I felt like I was in the zoo, looking at all these crazy but cute animals). I browsed the web for quite some time, eager to find the sweetest looking monkey on the planet. Some of the monkeys I found looked quite strange and I always had a good laugh - for example this spectacled langur is hilarious:
And then came the day when I discovered the beautiful Colobus monkey - and once I read about him I realized he has so many interesting characteristics, beginning with their mixture of black and white, their white babies, their extreme love of leaves... I just felt like it was the right monkey to choose.

Once I discovered Colobus I realized how many animals exist out there- and I was completely oblivious! Such a beautiful and interesting creature, living out there in Africa, and I didn't even know it! Surely other people must feel the same way!

When I told TJ about finally having found the right monkey she was as excited and she immediately started researching the surroundings of the Colobus monkey. After that she even started sketching Colobus and when I saw her first sketch I knew I had found the perfect monkey.

 I think TJ also fell in love with Colobus- the minute she saw him. Just like me. 


  1. What an inspired choice! He is absolutely adorable. I'm sure kids will fall in love with him right away. Cheers!

  2. Thanks Janene! I really hope kids will fall in love with him aswell!

  3. Brilliant!

    a will have a pet langur monnkey.


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