Mary Angus ’16 has just crossed an item off her bucket list: writing and illustrating her own children’s book.
Angus, who graduated with a BFA in art from William Paterson University, is eagerly looking forward to November 28, when her inaugural book, Max’s Fuzzy Feelers, goes to print. The book, which is currently available for pre-sale through major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart, among others, just spent 10 days in Barnes & Noble’s Top 100 spot for sales.
“Growing up, I was really completely mystified by children’s books and the illustrations inside them,” says Angus, who has been working most recently to create scenic art and installations for film, television, and museum exhibitions, among other venues. “The inspiration followed me into adulthood, and I still think about the feelings of total wonderment I get from looking at Miss Spider’s Tea Party, or A Bad Case of the Stripes.”
Pegged for ages 3 through 6, Angus’s story features Max, “a special moth with great big feelers and equally big heart.”
“Sometimes big feelers can be a gift but sometimes Max can't wait for his feelers to shift,” the book reads. “What happens when they get too big to hold? Sometimes having really big feelers can get old.”
As the story unfolds, readers find out how Max’s feelers work and watch as Max learns to handle those big fuzzy feelers through good times and bad, happy and sad.
Angus, who lives in Asbury Park, New Jersey, started on her book after “the most stressful adult day ever,” she explains. She decided to forego her evening plans, and instead, sat down to write about her feelings. Her words started coming out as a poem, and over the next few hours, the idea for a children’s book about feelings was born.
“I had been an emotional child and am still a deeply emotional adult, and I thought writing a book introducing the idea of managing feelings to young children might be something I could be good at,” Angus says. As for the illustrations, she adds, “I really tried my hardest to infuse the images with the same feelings of whimsy and creativity that I was inspired by in books from my childhood.”
Backed by manager Kristina Sutton Lennon of Focused Artists, and the Phoenix Press, an imprint of New Haven Publishing, Angus is excitedly tallying pre-sale numbers of Max’s Fuzzy Feelers in the hopes she will sell enough to be ranked as a New York Times Best Seller, “which would be an absolute dream.”
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