Mt Maunganui teacher releases third hilarious illustrated children’s novel
Andrew Macdonald, aka Mr Mac, is once again making Kiwi kids laugh with his crazy alien adventure series, The Super Weirdos, with the release of his third book, The Super Weirdos and the Deathbeard Domination.
As he did for the first two books in the series, The Super Weirdos and the Battle of Bash and The Super Weirdos and the Royal Roodle Rumble, the former Mt Maunganui primary school teacher has written the story and illustrated the books himself. With the help of his wife, Laura, and a professional editor, the couple have published The Super Weirdos books themselves with many thousands of copies of the first two books now enjoyed in schools and homes across New Zealand by readers aged seven to 13.
Mr Mac says he didn’t like reading or writing as a kid. “As I grew up, I loved telling stories and making people laugh. When I figured out I could write my stories down, that’s when my new love of writing began. As a teacher, I also love making kids laugh and sneaking learning into their day through stories. That’s what The Super Weirdos series is all about – teaching kids lessons for succeeding in life through humour.”
With the advantage of having been able to test the jokes on his students, Mr Mac says he loves creating stories with characters that he knows kids will be relaying to their parents at bedtime.
“The main character, Norm, is a scooter-loving, 11-year-old human who, throughout this series, has found himself battling the Universe’s worst villains while learning the alien secrets to success.
“Reading is the best gift we can give our tamariki. Keeping them hooked on reading is the challenge, so finding the right mix of humour, plot, characters and lessons has been a great challenge. I’m lucky, I’ve worked with kids for over 14 years and have made a career of learning how to hook kids into learning, while teaching lessons that aren’t ‘preaching’ or ‘forcing the point’.
“I’m fortunate to have been able to share The Super Weirdos and the Deathbeard Domination with a select few classrooms around the Bay of Plenty prior to publication. It’s had kids laughing out loud and begging for more! Incredible superpowers, hilarious villains, a ukulele laser and a human boy who gains alien powers… the problem with this book is kids won’t stop reading it!”
The third instalment of The Super Weirdos series continues Norm’s story; he’s a reluctant hero who learns how powerful he really is. “The idea for this story is to show kids that they are powerful, and people change a lot. Weaknesses can become strengths, and friends can help you through tough times. Through the story, you also learn the ‘alien secrets to success’ which I believe are awesome secrets and things I have used in my life to help me succeed. My target readers get a hilarious story, great illustrations and an awesome battle!”
Kids and teachers alike love The Super Weirdos books because they walk the fine line between teaching kids valuable life lessons while keeping the story funny, action-packed and relatable. One teacher said: “They’re like the perfect way to sneak the broccoli into the meal. Kids don’t know they are learning!”
Mr Mac has put in the mahi to create this book, which took about 18 months from initial concepts to publication. “With two kids running around at home, full time teaching and other personal commitments, time is short! I have had to work incredibly hard to get this done and I am very thankful that Laura helps me to schedule the time I need. I couldn’t do this without her.”
The Super Weirdos and the Deathbeard Domination and the first two Super Weirdos books are available in paperback direct from Mr Mac via his website, www.mrmacsbooks.co.nz. The Super Weirdos series is also available from selected bookstores around New Zealand like the Kiwi Kids’ Bookstore, www.kiwikidsbookstore.nz and specialist library and school suppliers like Wheelers. Follow Mr Mac on Facebook and Instagram @mrmacsbooks.