Monkey Boy book will support Kids Aloud

Ella Lambert, 8, and Charlotte Hale, 8, from Green Hammerton CofE Primary School with Rotarian Guy Wilson and Georgia Duffy, owner of Imagined Things, with copies of Monkey Boy.
Ella Lambert, 8, and Charlotte Hale, 8, from Green Hammerton CofE Primary School with Rotarian Guy Wilson and Georgia Duffy, owner of Imagined Things, with copies of Monkey Boy.

A very special children’s picture book has just been published.

Illustrated by pupils from local primary schools and a school in Nepal it is a re-telling of a Nepali fairy story by local Rotarian Guy Wilson.

The words will form the basis for a musical version, also written by school children from the Harrogate area and Nepal that will have its first performances in Harrogate’s Royal Hall next March given by over 500 children from Yorkshire and Nepal.

The book is published as part of Harrogate Brigantes’ Kids Aloud 2019 project that has so far raised over £50,000 to commission composer Shri Sriram to work with the children to create the music, to put on the concert and to bring over from Nepal a choir of up to 40 children.

Monkey Boy is based on a traditional fairy story from Nepal shortened and adapted by Guy Wilson to make it a suitable script for a musical work.

Monkey Boy is a monkey born to human parents whose extended family finds it difficult to accept a monkey as one of them.

The story tells of how, by cunning and bravery, he saves his uncles from a bloody death at the hands of a witch and makes them rich.

Only then is he fully accepted as a member of the family and recognised as “the bravest and cleverest of them all”.

Like all good fairy stories it is a tale children will enjoy, remember, and learn from.

Brigantes president Ruth Townrow said: “This is a truly inspirational international project which is involving children from both Nepal and Yorkshire in the creation and performance of a new musical work. The aim is quite simply to give them an experience that they will never forget, an experience which could and should be life-changing.”

Guy Wilson said: “When asked to submit pictures for inclusion in the book children from some of the 14 local primary schools involved in the project responded enthusiastically and very creatively.

“The selection of their efforts which we have been able to include alongside some quite stunning pictures contributed by children in Nepal really bring the story to life and make the book something not to be missed.”

The book was published on 1 September (ISBN 978-0-9551622-5-1) and is available, price £6.50, from local bookshops (Imagined Things and Waterstones) and from Harrogate Models on Leeds Road. All profits from sales are helping to fund this and future Kids Aloud projects.