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Saturday, January 31, 2015

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The inconceivable adventures of Cabbage Boy

Tags: Books and Authors

A Toronto corporate lawyer recently published his first children’s book documenting the adventures of his superhero creation  – Cabbage Boy.

Steven London originally created the story five years ago for his own children (Matthew who is now 14, Maya, 12 and 7-year-old Michael). “We were still living in Winnipeg,” London says.  “I had just completed my MBA (the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Executive MBA program). For 18 months, I had been working full time and studying at night.  I suddenly had time on my hands.”

The hero of the story is 9-year-old Ralph Spitzle who, at the beginning of summer holidays, is struck by a space orb which leaves him with the power of super flatulence, a power which allows Spitzle, aka Cabbage Boy, to save his town from the evil Cabbage Roller and his cabbage roll minions.

He says that he always thought that he could write a children’s book. He wrote Cabbage Boy in about four months and then, other than reading it to his children, did nothing more with it.

Early in 2013, London was talking to a colleague in his office about children’s books. The colleague said that he was thinking of writing a children’s book.

 “I remembered my own story and thought I could do something with it,” he says.  “I reworked it a little and connected with illustrator Scott Reed in Florida. Scott has done a lot of work for Marvel Comics.  The illustrations he did for The Inconceivable Adventures of Cabbage Boy are amazing.”

London grew up reading superhero comics, and so was inspired to write the story with a classic superhero comic tone.

The budding author turned to Friesen Press (based in Victoria) to publish his 60-page chapter book.  Friesen Printers is one of North America’s leading printers, and owns a self-publishing arm. London notes that the company helps with the cover design, the book’s layout and has a working relationship with Ingram Books, one of North America’s largest distributors of books.

He reports that the book is intended for children between the ages of 7 and 11. “Kids think the book is awesome,” he notes.  “I wrote it in a way that would attract reluctant readers – and feedback so far has been really positive in that respect.  It makes me feel great when a parent tells me their child hates to read but loved reading Cabbage Boy.”

The Inconceivable Adventures of Cabbage Boy is available online as well as at Chapters stores in the GTA, and McNally Robinson (in Winnipeg).  The book is also available through his website – cabbageboy.com.

London is already working on the second book in the series and has plans for six more.  “I hope this takes off,” he says.  “It’s a huge amount of fun.”

The family (including his wife, Leah) quite like living in Toronto, London says.  “It’s nice being part of a larger Jewish community.”

London will be signing copies of his new chapter book, The Inconceivable Adventures of Cabbage Boy, at Toronto area Chapters locations  June 14 (Markham) and June 22 (Bayview Village).

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