I really enjoyed A Royal Little Pest written by Anita Reynolds MacArthur and illustrated by Karen Roy. This is a great example of how a fun storybook app can teach little ones about the benefits of positive behavior. The story starts out with us being introduced to Prince Hayden MacCheeky who is a real little prince who lives with his royal brother and sister, parents and royal dog, Goober, in their royal castle. Prince Hayden MacCheeky loves to play around with his brother and sister but not necessarily the way they would like to him to play with them. You see – he is a bit of a pest and can’t understand why his siblings don’t like to play with him. One day, he gets down and his mother asks him why he isn’t playing with his brother and sister and he tells her that he can’t understand why they don’t want to play with him. Eventually, he has an idea and decides to be less of a pest and more of a playmate – which goes over much better with Prince Campbell and Princess Ava.
The animation is simple, like the dog scratching his head and the sister tapping her shoe in annoyance – but they all really add to the story. And the illustrations are so colorful and detailed oriented. Ms. Roy has done a fantastic job with the illustrations and you can really see the sibling’s annoyance with their pesky little brother! I think this is a great story to help teach younger children about the beneifts of playing nicely with others.
I had a chance to speak to Ms. Reynolds MacArthur about her story and what new ventures she has planned.
Tell us where you got the idea to create this character and story?
I worked for 15 years editing other people’s words before deciding to write some words of my own. As a mother of three, I felt it was important to create a series of picture books with colorful characters who were cheeky yet endearing at the same time. The stories needed to engage boys, as well as girls, and appeal to the reluctant reader. I wanted to create stories that parents would be interested in reading with their children. The underlying simple life lesson that is woven into each story easily translates to a classroom setting so teachers can use these books or apps as Read-Alouds with their students.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as an indie author?
My biggest challenge in this process as an indie author has been underestimating how much time I would have to dedicate to each book. When I first embarked on this journey, I thought the bulk of my time would be spent writing, producing, and publishing my stories. But that does not compare to the time spent on promoting the MacCheeky series, visiting schools and libraries, attending book fairs, blogging, as well as maintaining the website and social media outlets.
Tell us one of your favorite moments as a children’s picture book author.
My favorite moments turned out to be a complete surprise! I had no idea that writing these stories would lead me into schools and libraries to read my picture books and discuss the importance of literacy. Meeting young readers and getting them exciting about reading and writing has been the most rewarding and satisfying part of this process for me.
Any new books or apps coming out soon?
I am very excited to share the news that the second picture book in the MacCheeky series called A Royal Little Pest: Mine! was just released as an interactive digital app on iTunes for iPad, Phone, and iPod Touch. The third story in the same series has been written and illustrations are underway. There has been a lot of demand from readers to see more of Prince Hayden MacCheeky’s royal dog Goober. Let’s just say that the third story is app-tly called The Best Pet of All.
Link to her website: http: http://maccheeky.com/
Link for iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/royal-little-pest-hd/id510859516?mt=8
GOOD NEWS! Ms. Reynolds MacArthur has provided us with some codes to hand out in our newsletter going out on Monday the 10th! Thanks Anita – we really enjoyed reading about Prince Hayden!