It’s nice to see the passion projects that creatives constantly talk about actually come to fruition once in a while. So today we bring you one from Forsman & Bodenfors New York creative Jordan Chouteau, a mom of two who has written her first children’s book.
No More Monsters Under Your Bed includes “socially positive messages about sharing and conquering your fears,” according to a release. It comes with a “No More Monsters” patch that kids can secure to their pajamas to ward off evil at night.
The book features illustrations from Anat Even Or, an illustrator, character designer and calligrapher.
Perhaps the best part of this (in our opinion) is the promotional video series that shows kids offering up their hot takes of the 32-page book. While most of the testimonials are cutesy, we can’t get over this kid, who gave the book a scathing review (he takes issue with the lack of “realistic fiction” in its pages). If only all advertisers included reviews this honest.
More and more, it feels like creatives are trying to get in on the kid’s book business, although most of these reads appear to back a social cause (see here, here and here). From what we can tell, Chouteau’s seems more like a good old-fashioned children’s book.
At any rate, Chouteau is in the midst of a mini-tour to promote the book, so we caught up with her to find out more about it.
What made you want to write this book?
I wrote this book so monsters could never rob my kids (or me) of a good night’s sleep. I thought it was a simple, fun concept that might actually help kids conquer a real fear too!
The book is about overcoming your fears—why did you choose this as a theme?
Kids learn by example. If we read books to them that show how to conquer fears, they’ll learn to [overcome them]. We’ve got to prep kids for the big, bad scary world. I was just trying to make it easier on them.
Do you plan to write more, or is this a one-off thing?
I’d love to write another book. Or three. Whether I can convince someone to publish is another thing.
The kid that gave the terrible review … why did you include him?
We cut six different videos to promote the book. I chose to make one cut with the kid that gave the book a bad review because it cracked me up! And I was hoping it would make others laugh, too. Plus, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, right? Even sassy six-year-olds named Guiseppe.
Did your skills from the advertising world help you write this book?
Of course! Same creative process: think up ideas, bring them to life. Working in a 32-page format is just like working in an eight-word billboard or a 30-second TV spot. And publishers are just like clients, they too have rounds of feedback.
What were you looking for in an illustrator? How did you find Anat?
I was looking for an illustrator with a simple, iconic style that could take the story to the next level. I wanted a silly, fun style and nothing too scary for obvious reasons. Anat and I worked on two projects together during my days at Mother and her days at Nathan Love. She’s an amazing character designer, and I knew she’d be perfect.