Creating a Cuddle!

Creating a cuddle images

Why a personalised story about a cuddle?

3 people cuddlingSimply because, you can’t beat a cuddle, especially with your children and grandchildren. To be enveloped in a cuddle is to know security and comfort, contentment and joy. It is an expression of pure love.

And creating a personalised cuddle that YOUR CHILD starts with you, that your loved ones then join in and which spreads all around the world, well it was an idea that all of us at Tickled Moon couldn’t resist turning into our latest personalised book!

But how did it all begin? And what were the challenges we faced turning it into our 5th personalised book? Read on to find out…

How a random idea during the pandemic turned into a beautiful personalised story that embraces the world!

You never know when inspiration for a story is going to strike – it could be in the middle of the night, on a country walk or even in the bath. 

It was during one of those quiet moments (in a 2020 lockdown) that the idea for our next personalised book suddenly came to me – a story where the named child starts a cuddle that then gets longer and longer, eventually stretching around the world!

And so our latest book “The Longest Cuddle in the World” sprung into life. Written in a time of our lives, when a lot of us weren’t able to cuddle our nearest and dearest due to the ongoing separations of Covid 19.

A story for our times?

The world was united by the pandemic, but the shock and toll of it was wearing us all down. I wanted to write something that would bring us together in a joyful, fun and touching way. joyful-adventures-cover

The idea excited me for other reasons too. Our book for 2 names “The Joyful Adventures” hadn’t been out long, but already it was clear that our customers loved the unique opportunity to personalise a story for a child and adult and go on an adventure together.

Also adding other family members, friends and pets to a personalised story was a big surprise and delight for the child when reading the book.

The more I thought about the idea, the more questions I had – how would this cuddle started by Names 1 & 2 affect everyone? What if the WHOLE WORLD joined in and finally stopped for a minute, in one unifying embrace? What would that look and feel like?

Inspired, I started writing verses down, piecing it together, bit by bit, in the same spider’s web way I describe in my earlier blog “On Writing “The Birthday BOO!”

Cuddle, muddle, huddle…

The challenges for the story soon became clear. I like to write in rhyme and the rhythm is very important to me too. There weren’t many words that rhyme with ‘cuddle’. Muddle and huddle are the only 2 that I could realistically use. (Thankfully ‘hug’ filled the gap once or twice.😊)  

Also, I wanted the book to be as fully inclusive as possible, so what about those who weren’t physically able to cuddle others? It was important for me to make sure that they were included too:-And those that couldn’t
Cuddle with ease
Held a hand or a shoulder
And gave it a squeeze.

After several weeks of toing and froing and tweaking, it was finally ready for the next step…

To cuddle or not to cuddle? 

The very first reading is always to the No.1 Chief Personalised Story Tester/Editor and Co-Founder of Tickled Moon – my hubby Simon. A nerve wracking moment, because if he doesn’t like it, then it would be either rewritten or dumped…

Thankfully he loved it (although he did initially question “How can we release a book about cuddling, in the middle of a pandemic when we’re not allowed to cuddle?!”)4 people cuddling

Fast forward to January 2021. Another Lockdown in the UK, moral was low. BUT, vaccinations were being rolled out and there was a sense that cuddling might be resumed as normal, before too long.

The time felt right. Never had a book about cuddling felt as important and vital.

After getting more positive feedback on the story from other trusted testers, we were ready to go to the next challenge of creating “The Longest Cuddle in the World”… 

How do you illustrate a cuddle?

“Hi Jodie. We’ve been thinking about our next book and we’d love to get your feedback on one idea.

It’s called “The Longest Cuddle in the World”. It’s going to be quite complex to illustrate, would you be interested and available?”

Jodie Wonford has illustrated all 4 of our books to date. Her beautiful and heartwarming illustrations work perfectly with Tickled Moon’s joyful stories. 

Thankfully she was interested…

“My first thoughts were how lovely the story was! I was so excited to be able to illustrate it as there was quite a broad range of illustrations that could be done. For example there’s some detailed landscape scenes, but also the story enabled me to draw lots of people. Drawing people hugging made me happy!”

The final cuddle ‘energy’ – now surrounding the whole world!

But how would she illustratively represent a cuddle?! We wanted the cuddle to have it’s own presence and ‘energy’ throughout the book …

I started with designing the look of the ‘cuddle’. This was important as the form the cuddle took would affect what went on each page – we needed a rough idea of what that would look like first. It needed to look how a cuddle feels, warm and snuggly, so using soft colours helped to portray the feel of it.

The cuddle was a good challenge to capture and we’ve had to be quite inventive to get around this, but I think we’ve done a good job so far!”

It was also Jodie’s most intricately illustrated book so far:-

“My biggest challenge was probably how detailed this book is. It took a lot more time than the previous books. For example, the cover has around NINETY people drawn on it! But the finished product is so worth it, it was the most difficult and time consuming book I’ve illustrated but it’s also my favourite!”

WATCH BELOW – as 2 detailed pages and the seascape from “The Longest Cuddle in the World” are magically transformed by Jodie to the finished illustrations!

Ready to launch!

Alison Reddihough and the Longest Cuddle bookWith the beautiful illustrations finished and the first printed samples hot off the press, we were ready to launch our 5th book to our lovely customers!

And thankfully the first few reactions were favourable:

“Tickled Moon you’ve done it again! “The Longest Cuddle in the World” is so lovely, funny, warm and nurturing!”

“I so love this new book, I can not wait to share this story with my little man. Thank you so much for your lovely books and all the hard work and time you put into them.”

“Well done on another great story. Am over the moon!

If you’ve bought it recently, do let us know what you think!

It is one of the BEST parts of our business creating new stories and seeing them come to life with the illustrations. But it wouldn’t mean anything if you didn’t buy them or like them. So as always, we are SO appreciative of your continued support for Tickled Moon and our books.🤗

And we now look forward to spreading the longest cuddle as far as we can around the world!

What’s “The Longest Cuddle in the World” all about?

cuddle-product-imageAfter a horrible dream, NAME 1 feels that only a cuddle from NAME 2 will make things better.

However, the cuddle isn’t quite enough, even when ALL the family join in. As it bursts out of their door, how far will this cuddle eventually stretch and will it make a difference?

And could it become the LONGEST cuddle in the world??!

A beautiful story to share together! Personalise this book throughout for a child and adult (parent/grandparent/aunt etc.) or siblings AND include 5 or more family members, the child’s teacher/favourite character and the child’s hometown.

You can also add your own dedication for that extra memorable gift.

If you’d like to create your own very special Longest Cuddle in the World, then click here .You can preview your whole personalised book or listen to the story before you buy.

To see all our other personalised books and our personalised poetry print, visit us here.

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