Scott Guy's mother publishes children's book

By Jimmy Ellingham

Image / Supplied
Image / Supplied

Jo Guy's new literary creation Snooty Stanley the cat is on a mission to spread the word about values such as politeness and thinking of others.

The mother of Scott Guy, who was killed in his Feilding driveway in 2010, has just published her first children's book.

Snooty Stanley Plays a Prank follows a pompous feline who find outs the hard way he shouldn't just think of himself.

Mrs Guy said such values were important to her family, but seem to be getting lost a little.

She hopes her book will help children understand their importance.

"Having so much to do with the grandchildren and going through all the things that we did, we kept on going back to what's the golden rule? When there's a few scraps, as kids normally do, we would say 'what's the golden rule?'

"The idea came from that."

Mrs Guy then sought advice from experts about how to make that appealing to children.

"They all said it's really good for children to identify with an animal. If you have a moral to the story and it's people, they don't identify well, but cats and other animals are really good," she said.

"I suppose spending so much time with the grandchildren, you get in their minds a bit, the way kids think, what they like.

"They like a bit of naughty in a book, they like a good ending as well. I find kids don't like it if you try too hard, it's just about being yourself."

Mrs Guy had a "soft launch" of her book, aimed at 5 to 8-year-olds, when she read it to children at Colyton School yesterday.

"They just loved it. It was really good to see. Sometimes when you start things and then you wonder if you're on the right track.

"I've also read it to my grandkids and got help from a friend of mine to go over the words so it reads well and sounds good for the kids."

She would like to see the book in all schools - "you might as well dream big" - and is thinking about how to distribute it widely. As a start Paper Plus in Feilding will stock it.

The first print-run of about 150 has arrived and Mrs Guy is impressed with the way it looks.

"It's wonderful, it's fantastic. The paper was right - and the style of the book."

Dreamed up a while ago, Stanley came to life when Mrs Guy got in touch with Tauranga-based illustrator Paul Cornwell last year and he brought her visions to reality.

"He got what I was trying to do. I had pictures in my head of what I wanted, but I had to explain that, which was no mean feat."

When Mrs Guy's husband Bryan returned to the family farm full-time, she had a bit of alone time on her hands.

Having always been a writer, a taker of notes, Mrs Guy seriously turned her mind to the task. Already she and daughter Anna regularly contribute to their Makelemonade blog, and Mrs Guy started putting pen to paper for Snooty Stanley.

She hasn't stopped at one either, with two other books waiting to be sent to print.

"After all the things that have happened to us, I think good things can come out of bad things and it doesn't stay bad forever."

* Copies of the book can be ordered from http://makelemonade.co.nz/snooty-stanley/

- NZ Herald

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