We announced Frasier Cox as the winner of our Bedtime Story Competition 2017 back in October and over the last 2 months Frasier, children's book illustrator Alison Brown and the team at Little Tiger have been working hard on bringing Frasier's winning story to life as a children's picture book. Recently, Frasier visited the Little Tiger offices to have a chat with his publishers about his upcoming book, There's a Boy Just Like Me (which will be officially published and on sale on our website in summer), and to see Alison Brown's new illustrations for his book.
Frasier's story is written as a poem and describes a hypothetical friendship between a boy from England and a refugee. His moving story really wowed our judges, including Head Judge Claudia Winkleman and children's author and radio DJ Christian O'Connell.
However, despite the judges' high praise, Frasier was initially quite nervous when he realised he was soon to be a published author. He told us, "when I first learnt that my book would be published, I was just full of excitement... But gradually the nerves kicked in. I read last year's winner "The Moon Man" and I was super nervous. It's fantastic and there was no way mine was as good. What if the publishers changed their mind and realised this wasn't going to make a good book?" But, of course, that was never going to happen as his mum, Carina, reminded him, "my mum reassured me that this was a really different kind of story that couldn't be compared easily [to last year's winner The Moon Man]".
Frasier went on to describe how his nerves also initially extended to working with the team at Little Tiger, "I think I was most nervous about working together with grown-ups and not knowing how to speak up".. However, an encounter with children's author and illustrator Chris Riddell gave him a burst of confidence, "I was lucky enough to meet Chris Riddell at a local bookshop recently and I asked his views. He told me to get to know my publishers really well and to trust what they said because they would think or things with a fresh point of view. He was totally right and I can't wait to get to know them".
So, by the time Frasier had his trip to Little Tiger he was feeling a lot more confident. He told us, "when I walked into Little Tiger Press I instantly felt better. There were children's books everywhere and as I looked round, there was a whole gallery with so many different types of stories. So many different voices. Everyone was so lovely and they understood what I wanted the story to be like. They talked through every single decision with me like I was part of the team and not a little kid. They also had thought of some things that I never would have. And, they gave me a smoothie which was cool!
"It was so much fun doing real author things that I hadn't even thought of like thinking of a dedication! Also, just sitting round a table having conversations about books. It was so nice being able to chat about my favourite authors with other people that we're just as interested in books".
However, Frasier's favourite part of the day was seeing Alison's stunning illustrations for his story. Frasier said, "they were just amazing. Alison Brown has done such awesome work. I didn't know where to look first. There are funny bits, sad bits, cute bits, happy bits, every time we look at it my Mum and I keep noticing something new and I just love it all. Seeing what you have in your head, emerge and evolve into something new... It's just indescribable. I can't wait to see the next stage and I am really excited for everyone to see it!"
After the exciting trip, Frasier wants to thank Little Tiger for a lovely day. Don't forget to click "Notify Me" on Frasier's There's a Boy Just Like Me page to be alerted when it is available to purchase.