It’s been a very long lockdown period, one where we’ve worked and learned from home, watched more TV than we care to admit and spent our family time Zoom calling relatives and friends we couldn’t meet in the flesh. Whist the Smith family from Risca did all of that, they also took time to turn out their first ever book, thanks to the lives of their two cats Chester and Jeff.
Joseph, who was 7 when lockdown began, would distract himself from missing his friends and family by telling stories all about what he imagined his two pet cats would get up to at night when he and his family were asleep.
He would spend hours with his Mum and Dad, talking about these imagined cat adventures and laughing about all the things he thought they would get up to. With help from his Mum Emma, Joseph started writing down these stories which created an enjoyable project for the whole household to focus on during a time when everything else was so uncertain.
As Joseph and his family had so much fun creating these stories, they wanted to share this positivity with other families by putting them in a book, in the hope it would bring others as much joy as them in these difficult times.
Illustrator Mariia Luzina was brought on board who captured the two cats brilliantly with vibrant colours,
Mariia has always loved to draw and even went to an Art School when she was a child. It was just a hobby till she was 20 until she heard her best friend talking about how she wanted to become an illustrator for children’s books and she decided to give it a try.
Mariia would make sketches and send them off for the Smiths’ to approve, the finished result capture Chester and Jeff perfectly, not only how they look, but – shall we say their unique personalities.
The book was finally printed and brought to life. Joseph’s Dad helped set up a website so the world could read all about the lives of these two cats, and of course buy the book too.
We put a Zoom call in to Joseph and his Mum Emma at their Risca home. They told us all about the book and Chester and Jeff, the mischievous and inspiring family cats.
Alongside the book, “The Amazing Night-Time Adventures of Chester and Jeff”, Joseph brought his cat adventures to life by taking daily photos of his pets and asking his mum to upload them on their own cat Instagram account so he could brighten someone’s day with the funny pictures.
To find out more about the book go HERE.
And to follow the cats life on Instagram, go here CHESTER AND JEFF