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Hi, I’m Monkey and I love to go on adventures.

I can’t wait to share my stories with you.  Have fun browsing my website and meeting some of my knitted friends.

About Me

My name is Monkey (I don’t have a middle name … although if I could choose one it would be ‘Wolfgang’) but my friends call me Monkey Chops. I live with my parents in a stone cottage surrounded by rainforest and am woken each morning by my bird friends calling for me to come and play. 

Some of the things I love (in no particular order) are; tomatoes and pizza, olives and rhubarb, reading and dancing, aliens and ufo’s, woodworking and growing veggies in my garden, making friends and taking photos with my camera. My favourite colour is blue and I LOVE music that makes me dance. 

All of these favourite things are included in my favouritist thing of all … which is going on adventures!

You don’t have to go very far to have adventures and the best adventures of all are in my imagination. Having said that, my very first adventure that I’m sharing with the world included a very long journey by plane … then boat … and then lots of stairs! You can find out about that adventure in my very first children’s picture book, Afloat in Venice.

My Books

I LOVE books!

Reading them at night under the covers of my bed. Sharing them with my friends, or having them read to me by my parents. Sometimes I even draw in them (although I’m told I shouldn’t do this). Books make me laugh and cry, feel excited and scared, inspired and brave. I can imagine I’m a pirate, or a prince or a potato. Books make me smile.

I love books so much that I wanted to make my own.

I was so excited when I was given a camera for my birthday. I knew it would help me remember all the wonderful places I go and the friends I meet along the way.

Book 1, Afloat in Venice, was my first adventure overseas. It was scary travelling so far away from home, but I met a wonderful friend, Clarabella, who showed me all the sights of Venice. When I lost my camera I had to search for it on my own because I lost Clarabella too. Even though I was scared, and feeling so very small in a giant city, I remembered to be brave. Things have a way of working out in the end.

My next adventure, Book 2 – All at Sea (or Search for the Messy Monster … I can’t decide yet),  is a story about imagination and being brave.  In it I search for the ‘messy monster’ who I know lives somewhere in my house because it’s always making a mess and my parents make me clean up after it.  I wonder what will happen and who I will meet along the way?

My Creative Team

Everyone needs a little help sometimes and I’m lucky to have family and friends who encourage me to do what I love. I call these people my Creative Team (a.k.a my family). They are very patient when I don’t know how to do something, and don’t mind that I make mistakes – they tell me that’s how you learn. They often say, ‘Never be afraid to try something different.’ I think that’s great advice.

Author/Illustrator Tina Wilson sitting with her mother's knitted creations for the children's picture book series, Monkey's Great Adventures.

Mum (Tina Wilson)

My mum helps me with my words and pictures. I’ve got lots of story ideas but I’m still learning how to put them down onto paper. Mum uses something she calls “storyboarding” and “design” to help bring my ideas to life. 

And even though I have a camera, I can’t take photos of myself, so mum does that for me, I try my best to pose in the right way for her. 

Mum says she is a freelance artist. When I asked her what that is she said it means she does lots of different jobs for lots of different people. Sometimes she paints or draws pictures, other times she designs books and other cool things. She has even created a portrait prize!  

Mum loves writing, illustrating, publishing books … and drinking chai! 

Learn more about my mum here: www.tinawilsonartist.com

Dad (Matt Ottley) 

My dad writes and draws too, and lots of people know him for this (he’s won lots of award!), but his favourite thing of all is to make music. He plays piano and guitar, but the most amazing thing is that he can make music in his head!

Dad says this is called composing, which means when he draws little black dots and lines on pieces of lined paper, other musicians can play it. I don’t know how they do it.

When dad read my first story, he asked me if he could make some music to go with it. He said it would be fun and make everyone want to dance. He was right. I love it. 

My dad has a great website with lots of pictures and music. You can even listen to some of his other work. It’s not all for children like me but I’m sure you will like it.

See what he does here: www.mattottley.com

Nanna (Joan Wilson)

My Nanna is very clever. She can paint, crochet, sculpt, carve, garden, write and knit!

She makes amazing things out of leather, clay, wood, matchsticks, paper, beads and tin, but most of all she loves to make things out of wool. She has piles and piles of bright coloured wool all over her house. She makes all my clothes (which are colorful and comfy) and even though she lives a long way away from me, she sends me knitted gifts by mail. Nanna tried to teach me how to knit once but I got tangled up in all the wool. What a mess! I might leave that hobby for Nanna.

Nanna loves doing lots of creative things, but the one thing she doesn’t like is cooking! She told me she’d rather knit than make dinner.

Nanna loves the olden days and has written books with lots of facts in them about the Snake Valley goldfields (that’s a place where you can find lots of gold) and some of the disasters that happened there. 

Nanna doesn’t have her own website but my friend Jenny Botje has written all about her in the Teacher Resources for Afloat in Venice

Teacher Resources

I have given some wonderful people in my creative team the permission to put together resource notes for anyone who wants to explore adventures within adventures in my books.

From behind the scenes, through to lots of fun activities, I hope you enjoy learning more.

Download from here: TeachersResources_AfloatInVenice