The Adventures of Crunch and Munch: Volume 1, was a labour of love for a dad and his young daughters, taking bed-time tale-telling to the next level
There’s no doubt Darrell Duke is a creative soul. One recent endeavour, a novel entitled An Irish Tale of Leaving, set primarily in Ireland in 1778 and ending in Newfoundland in 1825, had him reaching out to The Herald.
“I first had the privilege of appearing in The Newfoundland Herald in the fall of 1999 for my first book, If You Look Closely, You’ll See,” he shared.
With previous works published by Flanker Press, Duke has since started his own publishing company, Stagehead Publishing. Makes sense. He’s been busy, even bringing in backup.
A family affair
Duke, who hails from Freshwater, Placenta Bay but resides in Clarenville, was excited to reach out once again to The Newfoundland Herald for a very fascinating reason.
“My new book, The Adventures of Crunch and Munch: Volume 1, is my first children’s book. It is illustrated by my daughters, Emma, 10, and Jessica, 9, and as far as I can determine from asking literary persons and organizations in our province, it looks as though they would be considered the youngest-ever published illustrators in the province.”
Emma is almost a pro, he teases. “Emma designed my last book cover at age eight and now both girls designed and illustrated the new book’s cover.”
Of course, not to be left out, Duke’s wife Lori jumped in to help with the layout and design of the book making this a true family affair. The book is compiled of a collection of short stories which Duke says “are not all that short.”
The next level
The tale of the trail of The Adventures of Crunch and Munch is adorable, taking bedtime stories to the next level.
“When Emma was born, I started making up these stories about two little lobsters and the stories just kept growing and I kept adding characters. The cute thing about all the characters in the stories is that they are all actual neighborhood pets, like their best friend is this cat named Ziggy, who is going on 17 years-old for real.”
Duke does much of his creative work out of an old restored fishing stage just down the road from his home and Ziggy hangs out quite often.
So, what happens in these stories? “Crunch and Munch and these other neighborhood pets go on adventures and they learn about history, and they have fun,” Duke shares.
But mostly, it’s about having a fun family project and being together.
“I would take the excerpts from the stories and write them down on paper and give them to the girls and let them choose what picture they would like to draw in relation to what was going on in the story. And they had a lot of fun. They loved drawing from day one.”
The kids have really embraced the project, and are excited to tackle future volumes. For Duke, he’s just thrilled they’ve found a creative way to bond over something they all have a passion for.
“It’s nice to have a book published that others will enjoy, but what’s been personally fulfilling is that we have had this kind of great, fun family project that we’ve been able to work on together.”
The Adventures of Crunch and Munch: Volume 1 is available at Chapters and through Amazon.