GLENBURN — Playtime between a father and his daughter has led indirectly to the publication of a new children’s book. Josh Alves, 31, has previously illustrated D.L Green’s “Zeke Meeks” chapter book series (he is now working on Volume 13) and the recently published Volume 1 of the “7 Little Words Adventures” app.
But now he and his 9-year-old daughter Lilly have worked together in the development of “Lilly
Bristol Dinosaur Wrangler and the Town a Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!,” which Alves has just self-
The lead character is named for Alves’ daughter and his Rhode Island hometown. The idea for the book, which started about four years ago, grew out of play between Alves and Lilly:
“She and I made up the characters together,” he recalled. “I’d ask her questions such as ‘What color is Lilly’s hair?” or “What color is the pterodactyl?’ “
It took six months for Alves to create the book.
“A lot of my inspiration is drawn from animation,” Alves said. “I draw the background as a separate layer, then draw the characters on top of that.”
Alves, father to four children, dedicated the book to his late grandparents, Manuel and Mary Alves, two of his biggest supporters.
“I lived upstairs from my grandparents when I was growing up, and they were an important part of my life,” he explained. “My grandfather always encouraged me to find out what I loved to do, then find a way to make a living at it. They were big supporters of what I tried to do.”
At one point, during a period when Alves was enamored of dinosaurs, his grandparents, using a marker and masking tape, changed a copy of the Syd Hoff children’s classic “Danny and the Dinosaur” into “Joshua and the Dinosaur.”
Alves decided to self-publish his book under his Sparks Fly Media company name: “I skipped that
traditional route because that can take a really long time,” he said. “I wanted to get it out there, and hope that it can get picked up [by a publishing company].”
“Lilly Bristol Dinosaur Wrangler and the Town a Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!” is available at Briar Patch Books, The Growing Place and Broadway Hardware in Bangor and Huckleberries Card & Gift in Brewer, and online at Amazon.com and Joshalves.com.