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Write On Ottawa: Searching for the secret of happiness

By Alejandro Bustos on December 10, 2015

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
― Charles M. Schulz

6898577_origLegendary cartoonist Charles Schulz is best known for creating the Peanuts comic strip, with such famous characters as Snoopy.

This famous dog, however, is not the only four-legged cartoon that can bring happiness to readers, as we can see from the illustrated children’s book Cocopuff: A Happy Tale by Ottawa writer Monica Dumont.

With beautiful illustrations this book tells the story of Cocopuff, a lovable furry creature from D.D. Doggie World. Curious to find the secret to happiness, he decides to journey to the world of humans where he discovers that the secret was always inside him.

We caught up with Dumont, the author of a children’s personal development series, to discuss her joyful book. Below is an edited version of our email interview.

Apartment613: What inspired you to write a children’s book about a dog?

Monica Dumont: I was inspired to write the story about a dog because my niece Sophia had just lost her English Sheep dog and had been very sad for a while. I felt that making the story about a dog finding happiness from within would show her that happiness is something that we can choose. I hope that the story will help other children as well.

How did you work with David Girard, whose illustrations are gorgeous?

I sent him the finished story and told him to go wild with his creativity and every four to five illustrations we would get together and revised his illustrations according to how they fit in the book. Davis is a great illustrator and very passionate about his work.

What has the feedback from parents and children been to the book?

They found it entertaining and funny at times. Kids love the book and sometimes it seems that parents enjoy it even more.

In terms of your future plans, are you working on any other literary projects at the moment?

Yes, I’m currently working on a book called Love Is.  It’s meant to help children see how love is all around them and to tell them that it can be found in the simplest things such as when Grandma makes them a snack.

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