The Snuggler's story...
Throughout the world people celebrate the festive season with the tradition of Christmas Day, taken for granted by millions of us all over the world, safe in the knowledge that it will come around each and every year. But what if it did not?
The Snuggler's: The Untold Theft of Christmas© is a magical tale where our hero is unwillingly set on a path to try and save Christmas as we know it. Rory Snuggles will not be alone though. On his travels he will meet two Elves, a brother and sister who are alike but with comically different personalities and also the curiously strange white rabbit; Baxter Egg-Snatcher who just might be able to provide our hero with the key to saving us all.
Banding together, they set out on an epic journey where they must brave the harshest of winter conditions, face the most dangerous of creatures and some of the most deviously terrible traps as they try to thwart the vile mastermind of this thievery; Jaakelmann! Atop his mountain and using his mischievous magical powers, he stands to take over the festive season forever with the aid of his army of icy creatures.
With Rory’s family and Christmas Day in terrible danger, the battle between good and evil has never had more at stake. This festive story is not just about presents and turkey but about the Christmas we know being stolen away forever.
So sit back, get cozy, enjoy the read. Remember what the holiday season is all about and enjoy the feeling of being excited for Christmas time...as it may be our last?
The story behind the story...
This heartwarming tale also has a story behind the story.
Back in 2019, our small independent project team arranged with two local Dublin (Republic of Ireland) primary schools (Lucan Community National School and St Gabriel’s Ballyfermot) to hold a Christmas art competition.
The story was read out to the various classes and each pupil was assigned a chapter and they would then re-read that chapter and produce a drawing of their favorite part. The goal was to capture their unique and creative imagination and interpretation of the story on paper. There would be twelve winners (one per chapter) per school and then their drawings would be recreated and reimagined by our chosen illustrator.
We received all the entries back from the two schools and they were carefully reviewed and the winners selected. We received some fantastic interpretations and viewpoints that really showed how they understood and enjoyed the story, not just from the winners, the runners-up still yielded great ideas and imagination.
During the last week of school term before the holidays, the author A.J.Long went to both schools to hold a prize-giving ceremony where the children were presented with an engraved winners medal and a Christmas gift.
In 2020 our fantastic illustrator recreated the drawings and we were hoping to hold another prize-giving early March but unfortunately due to the global pandemic and spread of COVID-19, we were unable to proceed due to lockdown.
In December 2020 we successfully arranged to send out the prizes to the winners and held a presentation at Lucan Community National School. The winning students were presented with framed copies of the artist's recreation of their image. They also had a small plaque with their name upon it.
So far it’s been a very positive journey, utilizing local talent throughout. The pupils really enjoyed the competition and it's hopefully something they can look back on in future years and remember very fondly, particularly that they can relate it to a book that they helped create.
The publishing of this book would not have been possible without the help and support from both schools, teachers and pupils and we are forever thankful to them for bringing the story to life and for being part of the Snuggler's tale.
About the Author:
The author of this wonderful children's tale first started on The Snuggler's: The Untold Theft of Christmas© back in 2014 as a hobby with a love for all things festive and Christmas related.
He has a real passion for writing stories, reading books and also film and television particularly in the fantasy, magic and sci-fi realms.
"To finally be able to release this heart-warming Christmas story for all children to enjoy, especially having been able to include the wonderful visuals and imagination of the competition winners, it's an incredible achievement to everyone and all who have helped along the way." - A.J.Long
About the illustrator:
Having the incredible task of reimagining and recreating children's artwork, Vera produced some amazing works that really captured and complemented the story beautifully.
Her hard work and dedication to these pieces included in the book and presented to the competition winners has really helped bring the story of The Snuggler's to life.
If you are in need of an illustrator or would just like to see more of her incredible works, please click on the link below.