​The Travelling Dads book series began in 2012 when I started creating stories with my kids at bed time. We decided we wanted stories that included each of the kids which would make them laugh! So we would get out a phone, hit the record button and start creating our stories from scratch.

I would introduce the characters and the kids would decide on what sort of animal they wanted to be. Whether that be a Beautiful Giant, a Barbarian Mouse, a Megalodon or a Wooly Mammoth!! As each story evolved the kids would create actions that they wanted their characters to play out which I wove into the plot.

Normally after about 20 – 25min of recording the result was a meandering, hilarious customised story about all of the kids which we could play back at a later date. Oh, and there was always at least one or two fart jokes in every one!!

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Connecting with Kids through stories.
Your Kids, Your Grandkids or Sick Kids

The Illustration

  • Step 1: Make Up Our Crazy Story

    Pick the character names, pick the character’s animal, hit record on the phone and let your imagination run wild!!

  • Step 2: Sketch

    Agree on which scenes we needed, draw dreadful sketches of each scene on the whiteboard then figure out what was needed in the background!

  • Step 3: Illustrate

    Send sketches and scene descriptions to Julia (our amazing Illustrator!!), send some photos of the kids to explain particular positions then cross our fingers and wait!!! Check out the results that Julia produced below!!

See the magic unfold!

Here’s how Lachlan the T Rex started out head butting the poor Pterodactyl’s tree!!

The swirling rocks and wind is my favourite part of how this image was captured for the final version. It really brings the wrestle scene to life!!

Here’s how the page numbers dripping with blood started out and what Julia was able to produce!!

Amazing how a true artist can take what you see on the whiteboard and produce what you see in the illustrations!!!Travelling Dads

Julia was able to take the inspiration from these starting images to create the Wonderful character of Isla the Giant Squid!!

WOW this one started out really badly!!! But with some scene staging from the boys, Julia was able to capture the moment really well!!

Getting the hand, wrist and knuckle positioning was critical for the Crow Peck scene!! Enter the real Hamish and Lachlan!!

Lachlan thinks he’s found who Crow Pecked him in this scene!!

The Pterodactyl asks Lachlan the Trex how could he have possibly Crow Pecked him, after all he’s a Pterodactyl!!!

Connecting with Kids through stories.
Your Kids, Your Grandkids or Sick Kids

Market Research

My nieces and nephews were the first critics of the stories and they provided amazing insights into how they would enjoy them more.

Suggestions like:

“I’d like to be able to see the pictures while listening to the story Uncle Mark”

Thanks Jessie Newsome!


“I wish you could put my name in as one of the Characters Uncle Mark”

Thanks Bronte Hawthorne!

So the next step was obviously to find an illustrator, choose one of the dozen or so stories we had recorded and get it illustrated!

Enter Julia Afflekt from Apexiva, our amazingly talented graphic designer and illustrator I met whilst Uber driving in early 2018. After explaining the concept, introducing Julia to the kids and agreeing on the way forward, Julia was into it.

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Connecting with Kids through stories.
Your Kids, Your Grandkids or Sick Kids