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Dolphins Keep Me Safe In Dreams by Ed Boxall

Dolphins Keep Me Safe In Dreams by Ed Boxall

Dolphins rescue child from nightmare!

Dolphins are the dream-state ocean-going heroes, who, in Ed Boxall’s new book, Dolphins Keep Me Safe In Dreams, rescue the little girl from her terrifying, eyes-wide-open, night fears. HOT’s Zelly Restorick went along to meet Ed in the Old Town to find out more about his latest creation.

Illustration by Ed Boxall

Illustration by Ed Boxall

I met local author and illustrator, Ed Boxall at the shop, Made in Hastings on the High Street, where he was launching his new book. I’d gone along for a possible HOT interview, but discovered that Ed would be performing his story to a live audience – and although I chatted to him, I ended up saying that I wanted to come home and write something in response to his engaging and innovative performance.

Playing his own music CD as a soundtrack to the narration of his new picture book poem, he simultaneously ran a roll of acetate across an old fashioned overhead projector, flowing images from his book onto a light circle on the back wall of the shop. Seated amongst an audience of children, parents and unaccompanied adults, I wasn’t alone in feeling it was an enchanting, engaging experience.

A self-confessed control freak, preferring to work alone, where all the decisions are his, Ed successfully managed to juggle every one of his musical, storytelling, projectionist, reading and entertaining balls without dropping a single one. It’s clear that every performance would be different, depending on both Ed’s delivery and his audience, just as the reading and interpretation of his picture book poem by every reader will be uniquely different.

Dolphins Keep Me Safe in Dreams

Books generally have a story with a beginning and an end, Ed explains – and generally there is some adversity to overcome. Well, in this story, he says, the adversity is out of the way pretty swiftly – and then it’s off into a dreamscape, protected by the love and care of the dolphins, who accompany the young dreamer. It’s a book for all ages, as children are not the only ones who can lie awake with wide-open eyes, imagining things that make them too scared to sleep.

The multi-levelled performance was definitely one of a kind. On this occasion, Ed stuck with the rhyme of his words, reading the poem from his book, but in future tellings, he said, he may free himself up from that restriction. And then, although it will be the same story, it will always be told in a different way to different people with no two performances being the same.

Ed Boxall with canine fan of his new book

Ed Boxall with canine fan of his new book

And the book has an uplifting positive piece of advice for its readers. “The dolphins guide us home to the final message”, writes Ed on his website, “that there is a way out of fear; there is the power of good in the night; there’s a way home.”

Lots of talented creative, innovative people here in this tiny mini-world of Hastings and St Leonards on Sea. Ed’s one of them.

‘Dolphins Keep Me Safe In Dreams’, written and illustrated by Ed Boxall.£6 per copy. CD also available.

More about Ed Boxall and his book here.

More about Made In Hastings here.

Posted 20:12 Monday, Sep 15, 2014 In: Literature

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