A grumpy kraken, sickly sea serpent and tearful gigantic tortoise are some of the colorful characters featured in a local author’s new children’s book.
Longmont resident Lynn Becker's first published book, “Monsters in the Briny,” is told in the style of a sea shanty as the ship’s crew contends with mythical sea creatures demanding comfort and attention.
“It’s been a joy to write from start to finish,” Becker said. “I spent a lot of years working on craft and learning all about the business and the craft of writing. I made a lot of lousy attempts, but this book — once I got the idea — took off and it was written very quickly and sold quickly too. It was magical from start to finish.”
Becker has always pursued reading, writing and art making, having worked in animation for film and TV. A few years ago, after compiling four strong manuscripts to send out for consideration, she wrote something for herself.
“I decided to go back and write something that I would’ve loved back when I was a kid,” Becker said. “I loved monsters and magical creatures of all kinds.”
She started writing a collection of poems using different styles to write about monsters, and one was a sea shanty about a kraken. The poem was a hit in her writers critique group and they decided it had to be expanded into a picture book.
Becker emphasized that it took years to get to that point, especially with how competitive the children’s book industry can be.
“I spent years taking writing classes and learning and failing like so many other writers,” she said. “It’s not easy.”
Interestingly, Becker came up with the idea before sea shanties saw their huge wave of popularity last year.
“Monsters in the Briny” can be read, or using the music provided in the back of the book, it can also be sung. Becker said the mix of wordplay, rhythm, repetition, sailors and monsters makes the book a delight to read aloud.
“I think kids should read for fun,” she said. “That’s a really important thing for me because I had so much fun reading as a kid.”
The book is illustrated by Scott Brundage, who has illustrated other books including “Where’s My Cow?” and “The First Men Who Went to the Moon.”
“The illustrations are amazing,” Becker said. “I think I have the best book cover in the history of the world. The art is spectacular and it’s every bit as important as the words.”
Signed copies of “Monsters in the Briny” are available at the Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop in Niwot while supplies last. “Monsters in the Briny” can also be bought anywhere books are sold.