Author Jesse Thom says Easter is the perfect time to put out his new book for under fives, Some Bunny Loves You.
"A lot of heart has gone into it and we're pretty excited," Thom says. "I won't say how old I am, but I really love this book!"
Thom wrote the book, the latest of six, with extensive help from his alter ego Chyld Saint-Thomas, a "whimsical, magical" puppet who has channelled many of his energies since Thom "found him" at Fantastic Space clown school in Vancouver. He has also worked in childcare in Whistler for the last 11 years.
"He's the one who authors the books. Chyld is a puppet I built in 2007; his professional and public history is that he's from olde world England, a British gentleman," Thom says.
"He's a persona I discovered while in clown school. Through that persona I've written these books. He's the one who does book tours and he does puppet shows to support the book."
Thom says this approach helps him "to keep a lot of things separate," meaning his music and other entertainment projects.
"I do a lot of music that is more adult, for clubs and bars and that sort of thing," he says. "A lot of authors will come up with a pen name or alter ego, and this is similar. It's the way this has come out for me and kids love it. It's a lot of fun... his message is about sharing love, because everyone is loveable.
"(Chyld) just takes on a life of his own, he writes his own songs. He wants to do this or that and often it's contrary to what I want to do that day, but he takes over."
The pictures for the book come from the Vancouver illustrator Christashe.
Some Bunny Loves You came from a song Thom/Chyld wrote one night.
"It was a song about some unique, strange bunnies and it was sort of a mystery song about which bunny loves you," says Thom. "It was supposed to be one painting to accompany the song, but Christashe and I started to play with it. It was so fun to come up with the visuals for the other bunnies and turn it into a whole book."
They didn't stop there.
"Once we had that, we wanted to make music for all the bunnies. So now there's a music track to go with each bunny's own little world... one song led into this package of bunny mayhem," Thom says.
"The book really is about opening different parts of your personality..."
Each copy of Some Bunny Loves You has a CD with the songs on it, he adds. It has also expanded to a multimedia package with finger puppets of the characters, and those who buy the book are given access to exclusive puppet videos online.
"All of this is for $12, which we thought was pretty fair," Thom says.
The book, which was self published, was released on April 1. It can be purchased from Armchair Books in Whistler Village, and online at Etsy and amazon.com. More information can be found at www.puppetauthor.com
Thom says he plans to organize a tour of libraries and other venues in the Sky to Sky region and Vancouver in late spring.
"There will be free puppet shows and lots of fun stuff," he says. "The tour will be the in-person launch."