At home, Meris the Monkey’s favorite thing to do is play! With mom and dad. With friends. With toys, trees, balls, books, mud, and sand.
Meris the Monkey is a busy little fellow, and loves to cause all sorts of trouble! But he isn’t just a troublemaker – he knows when to be kind, and will offer a helping hand (or tail) at any time. Just look at his smile – he is someone you can count on, and not just for a while!
What am I on about? And who is Meris the Monkey?
My name is Chris Pereira, and I am the author of the Meris the Monkey series of children’s books. At least I will be, once they are finished. An important part of parenting is showing your child the joys of a true love for learning. Parenting, when done right, will demonstrate to the child a kind of proactiveness, a passion for life, a desire to “do more, see more, and achieve more”. In this article, instead of focusing on my translation activities, I thought I would widen our conversation a bit, and share a relatively new project of mine. It is a passion that is brewing into an obsession.
The idea for the series started with a list of names. James? Jonathan? Chris the Second? No, our son needed a less common name. It had to be unique. Acton? Amadeus? A little too Victorian. It also definitely had to start with M and have Latin roots. Merrick. Marinel. Merekden. Marius. Merison. Meriston. Meristen. Merisari. Merisdon. Maradeus. Merisden.
Merisden. Merisden. Yes. Of the ocean. Refreshing. Smart. Unique.
I am writing the Meris the Monkey series for my son, Merisden. As of this writing, he is 4 months old. By the time he is old enough to understand, at least a few of the books should be finished and ready to read. To see his eyes light up with joy and excitement when he realizes his name is part of the story will be my “pay day” at the end of the journey.
In addition to giving the book to my son, I have a vision that Meris the Monkey could bring joy to many more children. I think it has the potential to be something bigger, something that can make the lives of children around the world better, happier, and more fun. That’s my longer-range view. For now, I need to get the first manuscript fully edited, confirmed, and sent to the illustrator.
I have thus far written two books in the series. Initial sketches are being done now for the first book in cooperation with an outstanding illustrator from the UK. We went through multiple iterations of the character Meris the Monkey before settling on our final version. Check out the “in process” versions at my Meris the Monkey Facebook page (facebook.com/MerisTheMonkey) – they are each very cute and rambunctious in their own way! Which one would you have chosen? Do you think we made the right choice?
If you are interested in following my progress as I complete the illustrations and take on the daunting task of publishing, I welcome you to get in touch. I will be sharing my thoughts on composition, on parenting, on arranging illustrations, on publishing, and on the future of these books through Facebook and eventually a dedicated website. I have published work in the past, and I write for a living now (as a translator and editor) but this will be my first children’s book series.
This project has become a passion, something I think about all the time – when that sort of enthusiasm hits me, I know I am on to something great. I look forward to hearing about your own projects, as well as your feedback, ideas, and suggestions!
Meris the Monkey is born!
Chris Pereira is a senior translator and editor from Toronto, Ontario currently working and living in Shenzhen, China with his young family. His published works include “Living The Dragon: A Journal-Based Account of Four Years Studying in China” and “Tang Dynasty Literature Translations: For the first time, an accurate, faithful, and beautiful translation of these timeless works”. He also has 7 years of teaching experience. Follow his work at: facebook.com/MerisTheMonkey, twitter.com/MerisTheMonkey, and linkedin.com/in/wiptranslation