Never Stop Playing
When we tell people we’ve written, produced and published two children’s books, we’re often met with the same response. Why? Our response is equally blunt: why not? Making doesn’t always have to involve a hammer and nails.
We originally took the plunge into kids’ books with I am the Architect, a chance to share our passion for architecture and building. Based around ten-year-old megalomaniac Archie’s mission to build the ultimate den, we aimed to inspire young minds with a story filled with humour, warmth and, thanks to the scarily talented young illustrator Rosanna Tasker, beauty.
I am the Architect was sent all over the world – from England to America to Australia. It featured in school lessons across Bristol and Bath. And it was used for Bristol Architecture Centre Children’s Week, as well as being stocked at architecture centres in America and France.
But the most satisfying response to the book came from the readers themselves. Seemingly enamoured by Archie’s self-obsessed ways, we received hundreds of den designs from Archie’s fans. After picking three winners, these creations formed the basis of Archie’s den in the sequel: I am the Builder.
I am the Builder saw Archie venture into the world of construction – to finish the job he started in I am the Architect. But this time, the stakes were higher as Archie and his team toiled to get their den featured on the completely fictional TV show: Kelvin McClood’s Amazingly Grandiose Designs.
Archie’s new adventure again found its audience. Kids who enjoyed the rich illustrations, playful writing and irreverent take on the stereotypes that abound in the building trade. We even managed to sneak a few messages in about the craft and creativity that, perhaps, go
underappreciated in the construction industry.
Hopefully, as young readers enjoy Archie’s tales, they’ll have a think about the buildings around them and how they were constructed. Maybe we’ll even inspire a few architects and builders of the future.
We’d love our legacy to go beyond just the spaces we create to have an impact, no matter how small, on the community around us.