The Rare Monkey picture books are illustrated by Jeffrey Mundell and written and solo-published by Joanne Gale.
Our book making adventures started back in 2013.
In 2014 we completed and Jo solo-published The Rare Monkey with the Colourful Bottom. Due to popular demand, in 2016 we created The Rare Monkey Can’t, Couldn’t, Can!
The Rare Monkey Can’t, Couldn’t, Can! is shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award (children’s) 2017.
Our books are printed in the UK to the highest standard – this supports local and saves carbon.
We are passionate about creating high quality, fun stories that encourage young ones to be and like themselves and others.
We hope you enjoy our books as much as we have enjoyed creating them.
Jo & Jef
How did The Rare Monkey books begin?
Jo: My experience is mainly in acting. I’ve performed for various ages and I enjoy seeing what makes children and their adults laugh and engage with a story. One day Jef and I were chatting and I came up with the Rare Monkey character; a monkey who’s teased for his bright colourful bottom, but decides what matters is how he feels about himself. I jotted the idea down and didn’t think too much of it.
In 2014 a friend introduced me to The Princes Trust. The Trust inspired me to make something and take control of my work; I remembered The Rare Monkey character and decided I wanted to create his story.
Why print in the UK?
Jo: I like to know exactly where the paper for our books is being sourced from. The printer I have chosen uses FSC approved paper. Printing in the UK also means our books do not have to be transported by plane which saves some carbon.
Why publish your own work?
Jo: I don’t think a traditional publisher would have taken a chance on me: I’m a young writer who hasn’t been to university and has no previous writing credits. Self or solo (as I like to call it) publishing allows me to pay attention to every detail of my work and keep everything personal when it comes to communicating with my customers. Solo-publishing has taught me so valuable lessons about all aspects of publishing. I had no idea I could create a book from scratch and sell it, but I have which is a nice achievement.
Tell us about The Princes Trust?
Jo: The Trust do a variety of courses. I joined their Explore Enterprise Program. The Trust also encouraged me to make something of my own, take a chance and follow my passions.
The Rare Monkey books mix together my my love and experience in acting, story telling and children’s entertainment.
Jo: Check out my other website www.patternsinthejam.com
What’s your favourite colour?
Jo: I wear a lot of blue but oranges, pinks, greens and yellows are beautiful. White and black are also stunning and very powerful.