Chrissy Metge has an extensive background in and love for animation, so it seemed a natural progression to add children’s author to her list of talents. Max and His Big Imagination was inspired by Chrissy’s love for her nephew and the way kids see the world.
Chrissy has been in the animation industry for my whole working life. “I have worked on 14 movies, three television shows – and many commercials,” she says. Movies including Superman: Man of Steel, The Hobbit Trilogy, Ironman 3, Hunger Games 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fast and Furious 7, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Jungle Book and recently the kiwi film Gary of the Pacific. “I’ve been around amazing creative and talented people, some who have even won Academy Awards! It does rub off, so I can see how everything plays out in my head. The challenging part is getting it down on paper in words!”
As a new mother, one of her favourite things is getting to see all the little things in life, all over again, and that is resonant with her ideas on creativity: “Being creative t me means having the space to let your imagination run free, and that can be for everything and anything!” she says.
It’s also a message embedded in her stories. “In today’s modern world it’s so easy to let our kids get caught up in the latest gadget or toy – and don’t get me wrong toys are great and can actually aid in imagination as worked into my books – but I think it’s important to give them the space to do that. Sometimes they may only need a cardboard box, a bucket and spade to bring out a HUGE adventure. My latest book, The Sandpit, also has a lovely message of helping your friends.”
And her next book is all about the adventures one can have with a simple cardboard box. “I don’t want to give to much away,” she says, “but let’s just say Max uses his imagination inside a cardboard box in his next adventure!”
Chrissy believes children’s books are important, not just for schooling but also for life. “With my son I have seen first-hand that they just bring our children alive. Books help them to read, learn words and also inspire them to see the world is much bigger than what’s around you.” she says. “They are such a huge influence.”
As for her own favourites, Chrissy admires kiwi author Mark Sommerset and his children’s books, as well as ones that have been around longer like Lynley Dodd for Hairy Maclary and, reaching further afield, Enid Blyton.
It’s not all fun and games though. “I have become more disciplined, and tried to make a routine out of writing,” she says. “Even though it is creative, I still need to have some discipline to get the most out of my day.”
Chrissy is very excited about her new book series called Amy’s Dream Adventures. “I’m hoping to bring really rich illustrations on a bigger book as double pages so the kids can get really immersed inside Amy’s world.” Learn more about Chrissy and her publishing adventures at Duck Publishing.