Introduction to Funkybooks: A Birde Seed Snapshot
In the Birde Seed Snapshot series, we introduce some of the great content we have on Birde. This week we are looking at the Funkybooks stories.
What is ‘Funkybooks’?
If you received the bonus ‘Funky Chicken’ Seed with your Birde, you already have your first ‘Funkybook’ story. Funkybooks is a boutique publisher of Australian rhyming picture books. They’re written by Chris Collin who has a passion for introducing a love of rhyming picture books to children.
Funky Chicken was published in 2013 and since then he has written Chooks in Space, A Bug Called Doug and Mission InCROCible.
“We’re probably more of an educational provider than a traditional publisher,” Chris told us although they do distribute to book shops and through their online website nationwide.
Teachers often say how much they love introducing Funkybooks to their students. Not only that but Chooks in Space has won Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year in 2016 and A Bug called Doug is in the Queensland Premiers Reading Challenge Book List
How did Funkybooks start?
Chris’ introduction to the world of picture book writing wasn’t an orthodox one. “I’ve always loved writing, reading and books. I always had my head in a book,” he told us.
However, at a school camp in 2007 with his son Sam, he wrote a story about a ‘funky chicken’ for a theatre night. The kids loved the hilarious story and lots of the teachers suggested Chris turn the story into a book.
A few years passed and life got in the way but eventually, Chris decided to write up his funky chicken story into a book. He decided to self-publish because it had a longer word count than traditional books.
“Also, a lot of publishers don’t want to publish rhyme because it affects their bottom line. The international rights are more difficult to sell in countries where English isn’t the main language. It’s a real shame because educators, parents, kids really love rhyming stories,” he told us.
What makes Funkybooks different?
Not only do the Funkybooks come with a narrated video slideshow but they also have a very catchy songs that kids can sing along with.
Adding the musical element was something Chris always thought was important.
“Music is such a strong tool to get kids involved,” he said.
Similarly, the narrated version of the story with the words up on the screen helps kids engage with the story.
“Some kids are more inclined to be more visual or oral rather than just out of a book. Seeing the words up on the screen, it engages them and can help them with all kinds of phonetics,” he said.
Where can you find out more about Funkybooks?
Chris and his wife Nadia are also currently touring around Australia, introducing his stories to schools, libraries and early learning centres. His lively performances are full of music, performing arts and puppets and are designed to encourage a love of reading for all levels. Check out his website to see if he’s touring to a town near you.