It’s pride month and here at Ruby we are so proud of Alex Waldron’s wonderful and totally unique book Our Uncles the Cruncles.
When I first met with Alex to discuss his Fred & Woody books, I fell instantly in love with the draft manuscript of Cruncles. As with all books, it went through many changes, but there’s one stand-out section that never changed. When I read this verse, it gave me goosebumps and brought a tear to my eye:
“Thick as thieves and joined at the hip, they’re each other’s rock, that no one can chip.”
I wanted to publish this LOVE story!
Along the way we’ve been asked (more than once!) will primary schools have a problem with a book that shows two men kissing? My answer every time was that this is a story about two characters who love each other. The book’s pictures were going to show Greg and Gary Cruncle doing the things that people in love do (although fighting a giant squid might be unique to the Cruncles!).
Without a doubt, this is an unusual book and we’re so proud to be its publisher. From Alex’s black ink drawings to the textured craft paper. From the cheeky, humour-filled text (with some “in-jokes” for the grown-ups) to the information section at the back for the adults. This is a love-filled book that comes from Alex’s heart and pen. It’s a celebration of relationships and families and all those little everyday things that we do for our special people.
There are many different types of family and our book celebrates just one. But its message about what makes loving, healthy relationships is universal. (And if that’s not enough, there’s also a fishing boat with a vegetable garden, a grandfather with a hook instead of a hand, a turtle called Martha and lots of rainbows…)
We know there are those out there who won’t like this book. We know there are places where this book is badly needed, and it won’t get seen. But we will keep trying. We want to see this book in kids’ hands, on bookshelves in schools, in libraries and in bookshops everywhere.
We’re spreading the word. And as the tattoos on Greg and Gary’s rough-as-rocks hands say: LOVE WINS!
By Ruth Owen, co-owner of Ruby Tuesday Books.