Book Trailer Premiere: Maxwell the Monkey Barber

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Today Cale Atkinson joins us to debut the trailer for Maxwell the Monkey Barber, his newest picture book! Enjoy the video below, then read on to learn more about the inspiration behind the story.

Can you tell us a little bit about the story of MAXWELL THE MONKEY BARBER?

CALE: Happily! Maxwell the monkey is the jungle’s all-star barber. He trims and chops hair from the smallest to the biggest of animals, making sure each and every one leaves his shop looking their best. Maxwell’s normal day of cutting hair day takes a turn when Elephant slumps in with a different kind of problem. He’s feeling left out, not having a single hair to style or warm his cold noggin. Maxwell doesn’t know what to do, but he is set on finding a way to make sure Elephant feels and looks his best, just like every other animal.

What materials did you use to make the illustrations in this story?

CALE: The illustrations in Maxwell are made from a combination of Photoshop (on the computer), paper, and of course, lots of love. Luckily I didn’t have to use any real hair!

What’s a page from the book or an excerpt from the story you’re really excited for readers to see?

CALE: I can’t wait for readers to see all the wildly hairy animals in the book! It’s a lot of fun to see which animal stands out as each reader’s favorite. More than anything, I’m always most excited just to hear what everyone thinks of the book. It’s my first written book told in rhyme and I had a SO much fun making it!

Your book trailer is like watching a video game! What inspired you to go with the pixel art style in the trailer?

CALE: I have a great love for pixel art (growing up in the era of Nintendo) and how much appeal you can create in so few pixels. When thinking of different ideas for a fun Maxwell promotion, I loved the idea of setting up the book’s premise as a retro pixel video game. I sort of just started creating different pieces for fun and before I knew it, I had enough for the full trailer! That, or enough for a full video game…

It’s been fun trying to switch up the medium for each of my book’s promotions/trailers, from animation (To The Sea trailer), to paper stop motion (Explorers of the Wild gif) and now to pixel art/video game!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

CALE: I’m so excited for everyone to check out Maxwell’s book trailer and can’t wait to hear what all you awesome readers think of Maxwell the Monkey Barber when it hits shelves August 9th!

Thanks for sharing Maxwell The Monkey Barber with us!

Maxwell the Monkey Barber will be on sale from OwlKids beginning August 9, 2016.

Cale Atkinson is an author, illustrator, and animator currently residing in Kelowna, Canada. Believing in tea over sleep, Cale is constantly working on numerous projects. His work can be found in animated shorts, television, games and children’s books including To the Sea, Explorers of the Wild, and If I had a Gryphon. See more of his work at or @2dCale on Twitter.


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