My New Book: The Angry Ant

Hi Guys. I apologise if the following sounds a little ‘advertisement(y)’ but I am a bit excited about something, so you might have to excuse me. Actually, I’m a lot excited. It’s not every day that I get to announce a first in the world of me (dot-com). Having said that, feel free to ignore the following post and come back tomorrow.

Good, you’re still here.

So, I’ve finished my first kid’s book and it’s just about to be pushed out of the literary nest into the big wide world of book distributors, book stores and, of course, readers. Very young readers. Specifically, somewhere in the four to eight year-old range. At first, I doubted my ability to be able to produce something that would connect with young people but as the project rolled on and we ‘test drove’ the product with hundreds of kids, the feedback was great and the experience (from concept to final product) has been more rewarding and enjoyable than I ever would have imagined.

I may have started something. 

I must say that reading the book to classrooms full of children (who didn’t understand my fragile only-child emotional state) was scarier than anything I’ve dealt with in the media or corporate world. Kids don’t have the same social filters as we grown-ups. If they think something is crap, they’ll just tell you. And just to put your mind at ease, no; there’s not a single swear word in the entire book. Impressive, I know.

About the Book

One of my friends described The Angry Ant as a personal development book for children disguised as a ‘Once Upon a Time’ story. I hadn’t seen it in that light (sounds a little sneaky) but I think she’s right. It is a ‘normal’ kid’s book with some important messages, themes and conversation-starters. It also has some very cute illustrations from my talented dad, Ron (the artist). The great thing about having an artist in the family is the cheap illustrations for your first kid’s book.

Okay, the free illustrations.

Woven through the tapestry of the story are insights into tolerance, communication, awareness, perspective, choices, kindness, happiness, anger, acceptance and friendship. As well as test-driving the book with kids, we also gave it a spin with numerous parents and teachers, who kindly gave it the thumbs-up. 

The general feedback is that the book is most appropriate for kids in the four to eight (year) range but one teacher suggested that the story (and its key messages) is something that could be explored and discussed by kids of any age. It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to read to a youngster depending on how quickly (or slowly) you read and how long the kid(s) care to peruse the illustrations. Yesterday, I read it to a four year-old (took about twenty minutes, complete with special voices) who loved it but needed a little enlightening on the meaning of a few words. With the end result being that he learned some new words and had a story read to him. It seems that most kids from about seven years on can read the book by themselves without too many problems.

Practical Stuff

On a practical note, the book is A5 (size), is perfect bound (a square edged spine) and we have used the best paper and cardboard (with a gloss finish) to ensure quality and durability. In order to keep it affordable, we have set the price at $15.00 (AUD) including free delivery anywhere in Australia for the next month. Next to comparable products, this is about a ten dollar saving. For our international readers, the figure is $22.00 (AUD) posted anywhere in the world. Buying three or four books brings the unit price down to $12.00 in Oz and five books or more brings the unit price down to $10.00 delivered. If you’re interested in buying multiple books (one school has done this already), email Johnnie and we will discount either, the books, the postage or both, depending on the size of the order.

*Note: when you change the quantity (of books) on the ‘buy’ page, the unit price will change accordingly.

Anyway, enough of the spiel. Thanks for your patience. Books are being delivered (to us) next week, so orders should be received within ten to fourteen days (hopefully sooner). 

 To buy a book (or twenty)

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

NIkki May 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Yay. I’ve been waiting to hear about this. Can’t wait to read it to my kids :)

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Mares May 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Hey congratulations I shall be purchasing cause I have a few angry ants down my way.
Perhaps you could explore (to make it even more teacher friendly) into a smart board version so that it could be projected off the big screen, with an interactive component. This would allow the kids to be further drawn into the message you are wanting them to grasp. I can see you creating an apple app in no time!
Wonderful achievement! X

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Anonymous May 11, 2012 at 1:19 am

Buying a copy for my niece, but looking forward to a read of it myself.

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Karen May 11, 2012 at 1:21 am

Wow! Congratulations Craig! Writting a book is on my “bucket list” and my hat goes off to you because kids are a much tougher audience than adults. You really are an inspiration, perhaps when I get the book inside me written and published, I will throw my “Spiel” back at you and convince you to buy. Or at least throw you a freebie and hope for an endorsement! I will be purchasing “the angry ant” and gifting it to a child who is being taught a love books by her favorite aunty. By the time she is old enough to read it herself, she wiLl know it word for word from memory if it turns out to be one her favorites. She loves to be read to and especially loves to chew on a good book ! Will let you know how well chewed your book becomes. Again, congratulations Craig, you have atrgeted a very tough audience and I wish you every success. X

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Mel May 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

I JUST BOUGHT ONE!!!!!

WOO HOO I have been waiting for this announcement, I can not wait to read it to my Mr 5 and Miss 7.

As always love your work Mr Harper, Love your work.

Love Mel

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Sandy Fishwick May 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

Well done, congratulations.

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Sarah May 11, 2012 at 8:30 am

Advertise away Craig! This is fantastic news! Congratulations!

I just bought the book and I can’t wait to read it to my nephews and niece. I’m always on the look out for personal development books for kids. I know they’ll love it.
Shout out to Ron for that awesome illlustration, looking forward to seeing the rest.
Well done Craig, so happy for you!
Triple G

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Kyles May 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

Craig – my lifesaver!! have a 4 1/2yo .. if you’ve written it i know it will be great – I can’t wait to read it(oh and i’m sure she’ll like it too -hehe) those subjects are exactly what i’m trying to keep a handle on with her – the social time is really starting now – and they test every aspect with their friends – it will be great to get help with keeping them on a path – instead of one minute “we’re best friends” and the next minute “your not my friend”. With school starting next year my greatest worry is that she make good friends – i think it’s one of the biggest helpers with their confidence.
when is the next one starting?

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Trolley Wife May 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

Fabulous effort Craig. I will buy some for my ten year old and friends kids. I would also love you to write something for our oversexualised and often unhealthy physically teenager community.

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Wendy May 11, 2012 at 11:46 am

Congratulations Craig! And how awesome that your Dad did the illustrations :) Really looking forward to receiving my order and shoving down my smart alec 9 year olds throat! – oops, let me rephrase that…. bonding with my lovely son as we share the story together and take away some great lessons :)

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Holly B May 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

We done Harps and big cuddle for Ron! Really excited about the book launch and have just ordered 2! One for our family and one to donate to my daughter’s school.
Take care skinny little big fella. xx

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Kayley May 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Will certainly be an interesting read. I have a 9 year old niece (thats going on 20) that I am interested to see what she thinks. Also will show her mum who works in a small country school so you may get more orders!!

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Cheryl May 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Congratulations Craig I am so proud of you !!! What a challenge it must have been to go outside your comfort zone.
I continue to be motivated to move beyond the limitations of my mind and appreciate you taking time each to to share with me and the world ;)

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Brian Madigan May 12, 2012 at 7:13 am

Congrats Craig. A fantastic accomplishment.

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Anon May 12, 2012 at 9:48 pm

What an inspirational children’s book.

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Anon 2 May 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I feel it’s indoctrination and brain washing young children into bullying those that don’t fit in, IE being fat. Having said that, I have not read it, but I hope the book does not bag out those that won’t spend their lives in a gym.

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Craig May 14, 2012 at 6:53 am

Anon 2

“I feel it’s indoctrination and brain washing young children into bullying those that don’t fit in, IE being fat.”

Interesting concept, criticising something you’ve never seen or read. Do you do that a lot? It’s actually a book about friendship and tolerance – and has zero to do with gyms.

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Mel May 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

:)

Cant wait to get mine Craig. I already know it is going to be a family favourite. And I would also like to thank you for spreading love and tolerance to the next generation. We need more mentors like you.

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PG May 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

WOW! I love it when people make grand assumptions on stuff and have NO idea what it’s all about! And especially when they aren’t even gutsy enough to put their name or contact! Booooooo Anon2!! Boooooo!

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PG May 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

GOOD ON YOU, CRAIG!!!! And congratulations! This book sounds fabulous. And the illustrations look amazing – what a clever dad Ron is. Very cool project to do with your Dad. Speaking of which, I hope he’s feeling better now.

So good on you doing something like this that is left of centre to your traditional work of kicking people arses (in the broadest sense possible) and I think this is the start of an interesting new direction! Good on you showing us how you’ve been brave doing this new stuff and we wish you well in it!!! Love, PG xo

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