Cobar canine inspiring young readers to see the world

Cobar’s Adam Maidens is ready to launch his self published children’s book, Dudley Dog, at the Festival of the Miner’s Ghost markets next week. Photo contributed

Move over Spot and Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, there’s a new top dog in town and his name is Dudley.

Former miner-turned-artist, children’s book author, illustrator and publisher Adam Maidens is getting ready to launch his pet project, a children’s book called Dudley Dog.

It’s a project that Adam’s been working on for the past 10 months but actually started as an idea a couple of years ago.

After returning from overseas trip, Adam began sketching a little dog, who would eventually become Dudley.

“He’s been through a few revisions, he didn’t look like this when we first started,” Adam told The Cobar Weekly of Dudley, who is based on a few different dogs he’s known.

Some of Adam’s location drawings in the book are from memories of places he’s visited or he’s drawn them from photos taken for reference.

“A lot changed with the artwork: the first were sketches with pen and paper and then I’ve taught myself to draw on the iPad,” Adam said.

“That’s been over a fair few years to do that.

“Then we convert to vector drawing [digital file] so that way you don’t get any pixels and it’s perfect for print.

“It’s been a bit of learning curve,” he admits.

As the book’s author, illustrator and publisher Adam has full control, but that’s also brought with it a few headaches getting it ready for printing, colour coding, obtaining a bar code and registering it with the Australian Library.

“The behind the scenes stuff I took for granted. Everything has been designed in house which is good and bad, you get to keep hold of the entire thing which is lovely, it’s your baby, but at the same time the workload has been enormous,” he said.

Dudley the dachshund, a little dog from a small town called Cobar, is the subject of what Adam hopes is the first of many children’s books aimed at 3-8 year olds.

Adam’s aim is to give kids an idea of what’s involved in travelling overseas and how exciting it is to see and experience new things and meet new people.

He has drawn on his own experiences of packing for a trip, getting a passport, going to an airport and getting on a plane to show his young readers what’s involved.

In his first book Dudley travels around Australia and Adam said it’s the “launch pad” for book number two which will take readers to Japan. Later it will be on to Europe for the next instalments of Dudley’s overseas adventures.

Adam said he’s received a lot of support for the project, particularly from his family, including partner Danielle, who he said has been the main breadwinner of the family since he gave up mine work 10 months ago to concentrate solely on this book.

Adam said the book has lots of little nuances and references that all readers won’t get.

“There’s hidden messages throughout, to the girls’ birthdays, to Danielle’s birthday, to mum and dad.

“The aeroplanes at the airport are named after the three girls,” he said.

There’s also nods to other relatives and friends, including a French couple, Frank and Emma, who Adam met on his travels, and who appear as French dogs visiting Melbourne in his first book. The couple has offered to translate Adam’s book into French and sell it to the French market.

“Our aim is the global market,” Adam said.

In among Adam’s many gorgeous colourful illustrations in the book, you can find his sense of humour flowing throughout the pages.

In his list of articles to pack for his trip, he includes a kitchen sink; if you look very closely at the photo of parliament, which has a few turkeys strutting around in it, one of the animals has a Pauline Hanson name badge.

Dudley Dog is currently at the printers and Adam and Danielle are hoping to be ready to sell their first batch at the Festival of the Miner’s Ghost markets next Saturday.