About a month ago, I got an email from Vincent Noot. He wrote that he and his wife were working on a ‘Where’s Waldo’ type book and asked if I would be willing to write up a post on it. Though I usually ignore most guest post/advertising offers, he had good English, was polite, had an impressive story and website, and his Kickstarter page was real. Plus, I have a soft spot for these types of books; I loved them as a kid. And, of course, I got a kick (no pun intended) out of the Kickstarter, since one of the texts in the matriculation exam talked about it. (I am not being paid for this post.)
The name of Noot’s book is, “Find the Cutes.”
Here is an interview/FAQs.
What is “Find the Cutes – Playtime” all about?
Children are creative. They have a huge imagination. In society today, despite all the technology and opportunities, the greatest happiness is often found in the home. Children give families that extra enthusiastic energy. “Find the Cutes – Playtime” is based on that concept. It sparks the imagination, stimulates dialogue without words, educates, entertains, and inspires.
Who are the Cutes?
The Cutes are a family. Their last name is “Cute” and all the kids’ names start with a “C”: Carissa, Chaz, Cade, Cammy, and Cindy. The story is based on the “second-mom” phenomenon: As the oldest daughter you sometimes get to babysit your younger siblings a lot. That’s how it can work in bigger families. In every illustration I tried to show their innocence and playfulness.
What made you think to write a book?
Because I have always been drawing cartoons, I thought of the right kind of product to create. I always drew comics, but I know that’s a hard niche market to be in. Then it hit me: Those search books that I loved as a kid… there was hardly any competition. A few major ones, but not many more. And it had to be more focused on kids. So I saw an opportunity that hopefully will turn into a big hit. That’s also why we decided to write a book. Not so much writing, as illustrating, since the illustrations took most of the work. It had to become a masterpiece, something that will spread and keep selling because it’s attractive and fun for children.
What inspired you as an illustrator?
As a child, I was much intrigued by search books. I spent hours looking for the right characters and objects on every page. But I discovered there weren’t that many different ones out there. Over the years, I developed a unique cartoon style that I was able to use for several companies and assignments. Together with my ideas and the concept of a search book, my wife (then girlfriend) and I came up with a search book and a fun family as the main characters.
How did you come up with each page, and how long did it take to draw them?
Before each page, I brainstorm about as many creative, funny things that could happen. For example, I divided the Birthday Party page into section of balloons, ball pit, presents, etc. Children can be very silly. So I think of what they’d do with a balloon, like rubbing it over their hair, letting it go into the air, binding it to their ears, popping it, etc. Each page took almost 100 hours to sketch, draw, color on the computer, etc. Each person is hand-drawn and colored in Photoshop. My wife, Celestial, did most of the storytelling. The whole book took 1 year to finish. Some drawings are based on real events. Sometimes something funny that happened in our lives, comes back in the drawings. For instance, when I was dating my wife, we both took a bite of the same huge hotdog at the same time. So in the Swimming Pool page, I drew a boy and a girl eating a hotdog at the same time.
Who is “Find the Cutes” for?
Children ages 3 and up. Adults could enjoy it too. With 12 pages of things to search for, kids could be entertained for hours. Not only are we going to make a book, but we are planning on making it a tablet game for the ipad, kindle, and other devices. That will be a stretch goal if we make it.
Are you going to make a sequel?
Yes. We are planning on an entire series of 10 books The next book will be called “Find the Cutes – Festival Fun” and will have fun search pages about Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, but also about the Tomato Festival in Spain, Songkran in Thailand, and Sinterklaas in the Netherlands. It will also have 12 pages and a storyline. We already started working on it.
What’s special about your book, “Find the Cutes”?
The world market is flooded with numerous children’s books, so if we wanted to make it big, we knew our book had to stand out. It had to have that extra something that makes you want it and be impressed with it, so that you recommend it to others personally and in reviews. You need to feel your money was worth it. So why buy “Find the Cutes – Playtime?” Because it’s not a regular children’s book. It keeps you and your children entertained for hours. The illustrations look beautiful. It’s cute and funny. It’s old-fashioned fun, and therefore educational.
When will it be available and how can I buy it?
The book is completed, so we now have a kickstarter campaign from March 1st until March 31st. Please take a look at our Kickstarter page. You can sponsor/back our project in those 30 days and get discounts that way. We are getting the website ready for ordering (this will be the means of selling our book, once it’s ready), so we are in the process of getting the book printed and attaching a payment system to the website.
How can I contact you?
We have a website, and we are also on Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Feel free to look us up and follow us. Also, if you have any questions, you can email us at findthecutes [at] gmail [daht] com or personally to my account at vincentnoot [at] gmail [daht] com.
Now, take a look at these gorgeous drawings.