“I loved New York, I just didn’t like living in New York,” said Smith, 39. “There’s no open space, no mountains ... Living there is a different world.”
In addition to the “Even Monsters” picture book, Smith has created an online, interactive world where children and parents can learn fun facts about brothers Glubb and Skeebu, including step-by-step instructions on drawing the two monsters; play games and do activities; watch behind-the-scenes videos; and enter the Monster Art Contest. Through the end of the summer, Smith is accepting monster drawings from children ages 2-9. He will then animate the top 20 drawings for a music video.
In the meantime, Smith has planned a number of presentations throughout the region and beyond, including three Newburyport appearances next week and a successful launch party earlier this month at Jabberwocky Bookshop complete with Theater in the Open actors in Glubb and Skeebu costumes.
“I do try to think outside the box a little bit in terms of these presentations for kids,” Smith said. “It’s not just an author sitting there scribbling in books. It’s pretty interactive.”
Smith is already working on a follow-up book, “Even Dinosaurs.”
If you go
What: “Even Monsters” events with AJ Smith
When and where: Thursday, April 24, at 10 a.m. at Newburyport Public Library, 94 State St.; Friday, April 25, at 1 p.m. at Chococoa Baking Co., The Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St., Newburyport; and Sunday, April 27, at 1 p.m. at The Book Rack, 52 State St., Newburyport
How much: Free
More information: www.evenmonsters.com