Sunday 19 October 2014

Your Talking Cow Protagonist Puts You Off Beef

The situation: illustration of a cheeky cow grinning at you; aversion to red meat.

You feel: nausea; despair; guilt.

So you want to write a kids’ book, huh? Talking animals are a time-honoured strategy when it comes to entertaining children. However, you do need to be careful when you anthropomorphise. Identify your favourite meat and steer well clear of the originating animal.

You may think that you’re a red-blooded, down-to-earth chap who could never turn down a steak, but after getting to know Mrs Moo-Moo, her adorable personality, her quirky habits and her cute bovine face, you may feel differently.

Should you start to feel a slight aversion to meat, you need to tread carefully. You have two options: lose an eating habit or lose your character. Take into consideration the popularity of your books. Do children love Mrs Moo-Moo? If so, then perhaps sacrificing beef is a small price to keep many children happy and your book in print.

Do not, whatever you do, start a series about talking vegetables. You do need to eat.

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