Meet Chalky.

Chalky is the feline protagonist in a new bedtime story being created by a team of designers in Belfast, Ireland.

Chalky’s neighborhood escapades form the backbone of the plot.

But the story is brought to life more through the vivid illustrations, and the careful use of hand-lettered typography.

While telling Chalky’s story, the designers also endeavor to teach pint-sized readers about the power of good type.

Cofounder Gabriel Muldoon explains: “When Chalky is looking up the car tailpipe, the word ‘thought’ looks like thought bubbles and ‘fast cars’ looks like it’s moving forward at speed.”

Plus, it’s eye candy for grown ups--good news for a book meant to be read over and over and over.

Check out Little Thunder Co.'s Chalky and the New Sports Car Kickstarter campaign, here.

A Sweet Bedtime Story For Design-Minded Kids

Using illustrations that evoke cinematic motion and a custom hand-lettered typography, this children's book may become a new favorite.

Animals make for the best storybook protagonists (see Winnie the Pooh, Babar, and Peter Rabbit). A design team in Belfast, Ireland, wants to add a new character to the genre: Chalky, a fun-loving cat.

Chalky and the New Sports Car chronicles the mischief of Chalky (based on a real cat and its real eccentricities) as he slinks around the neighborhood and perches on parked cars. Created by designers at Little Thunder Co., the story is designed to become a new bedtime classic.

“It’s a time when you can be transported into an imaginary world, guided by colorful illustrations, an engaging narrative, and share in the adventure with your kids as the narrator,” says Tim Potter, a Little Thunder cofounder.

Chalky’s neighborhood romps form the backbone of the plot, but the story is brought to life more through the vivid illustrations, which use color and etched markings to evoke sunlight and motion.

The Little Thunder team also commissioned a handcrafted typeface to tell Chalky’s story, and is careful to not miss any opportunities to teach pint-sized readers about the power of good type. As Gabriel Muldoon, another cofounder, explains: "The story is aimed at children aged between six months and four years old, so in most cases it will be read by an adult. By visualizing the words through illustrated typography, the child will begin to make a connection to it’s meaning." More specifically: “When Chalky is looking up the car tailpipe, the word ‘thought’ looks like thought bubbles and ‘fast cars’ looks like it’s moving forward at speed.”

It’s eye candy for grown ups, too--good news for a book meant to be read over and over and over. Little Thunder Co. is raising funds for Chalky and the New Sports Car through Kickstarter. Score a copy here.

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1 Comments

  • Deborah Lucas

    These guys may know design but they seem to know nothing about kids - who register the emotion of everything in illustrations (hence some of my problem books here in my elementary school library) Chalky looks scary!
    Also they know nothing about literacy & child development & recognizing letters/words. Changing fonts & the look of letters is practically cruel to emergent readers!