Film writer and director Nicole Albarelli, most notably known for her starkly realistic films, is publishing an inspirational children’s book - The Chronicles of Animals with Issues. Turning a challenging experience into a heart-warming tale with an important message, the book is a creative response to Nicole’s own experience raising boys with ‘issues’.
The initial idea for the book came shortly after the sudden death of Nicole’s father (also a writer, most notably known for his conspiracy-leaning investigative journalism). Following his death, her then 8-year-old son began to experience a strange post-traumatic affliction, which presented itself as a form of Tourette's Disorder. Tourette's is a condition that, it is estimated, one school child in every hundred and more than 300,000 children and adults in the UK live with (tourettes-action.org).
“My son, Dylan found the death of his grandfather extremely overwhelming. Almost immediately after the news, he started experiencing an array of physical and neurological symptoms similar to that of Tourette's Syndrome that have yet to go away. I can only assume they are a complex correlation to his tremendous loss alongside this unusual world's environmental and stress related growing pains. Watching this happen to your own son is pretty traumatic, especially after learning that he overheard a teacher describe him as ‘the boy with issues'. This book is about reassuring kids, parents and most of all myself that we're all going through something and it should never be something we feel ashamed of."
The Chronicles of Animals With Issues is a light-hearted and engaging resource for all families with young children. It is an uplifting and inclusive story that helps to normalise disorders and difficulties within their own and other children.
The book sees three peculiar animals embark on a soul-searching adventure in search of The Wise Owl, who they hope will cure them of their oddities - or “issues”. Along the journey, the readers encounter a claustrophobic white rabbit deeply scared of rabbit holes, an uptight little squirrel highly allergic to nuts and a grumpy insomniac bear who can’t hibernate. The tale follows these lovable characters as they search for answers, whilst discovering their own unique identities through friendship, courage and confidence.
The gently-rhyming words are beautifully accompanied by enchanting and somewhat psychedelic illustrations by Nicholas Child, who after suffering from depression in 2013 turned to his childhood love of illustration. It was important for Nicole to make the story as accessible as possible, and relevant to all children, not just those suffering from Tourette’s. Purchasing the book grants access to a special audio version of the book, followed by a guided meditation for children, while the dedicated website brings the story to life in a fun and interactive way.
Nicole shares, “My hope in writing this book is that it offers both children and parents a colourfully engaging way to normalise and confidently talk about the “issues” that affect us all!”
The Chronicles of Animals with Issues is available for £12.99 at www.thechroniclesofanimals.com.
Nicole Albarelli is an American, London-based writer, director and filmmaker living in West London with her partner and father to her 5-year-old son, Ashton and 10-year-old son, Dylan. She currently runs independent film and design studio, BOYS CRY and has just self-published her first children’s book entitled, The Chronicles of Animals with Issues.
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