No, looks to me like, from the front cover picture, the monkey does indeed have a bum, albeit it quite small and the motion lines suggest it’s shrinking. No matter the outcome of the debate, it cannot be good news for this monkey called Charlie. I could ask the author Asa Murphy why, but we don’t need spoilers. All you need to know is Charlie has either no bum or an incredibly shrinking bum, and that’s plenty of background, cos, kids like the word bum, and I don’t blame them. I like the word bum, and intend to use it as much as possible here today.
If this Liverpudlian now children’s author’s name rings a bell, it’s because he loves Devizes and in honour of our late local fundraising musician, Bruce Hopkins, he staged his most prestigious performance at the Corn Exchange, a self-penned musical about the life of Buddy Holly.
Asa just glows with the charm and entertaining charisma of a one-man Ratpack. With sell-out shows at Ronnie Scotts, topping the bill at the famous Liverpool Empire, he also has a decade under his belt with a popular BBC Radio show up in Liverpool. Last year he turned to writing, the intention being stage musicals, of which he’s crafted three shows, Buddy Holly Lives, Mack The Knife and Irish Annies.
But if you think changing from musical writer to children’s author is tenacious, think again. Asa plans to launch a children’s musical from his debut book, and will be at the Corn Exchangein 2021. For now, though it’s self-published book (Murphy-World Books,) that tale of monkey with no bum, and was taken from a story Asa told to his nephew, and continued to tell to my own children. “I wanted them to be aware that in my eyes,” Asa explains, “they were perfect in every way. The story developed into an idea that I felt all children should hear, so I sat down and wrote the story with the dream of it being turned into a children’s illustrated book.”
I asked Asa if there was more to come, whether Charlie might be back, with or without his bum! “It’ll be a series of five books, all featuring Charlie the Monkey, and with valuable lessons for children.” Might make a great Christmas pressie for the young ones, or anyone, I like saying bum, and I think, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all do!