WHAT does a French sailor, a monkey and the Tasmanian coastline have in common?
Well, they are all parts of a brand new children’s book written and illustrated by Rachel Tribout.
“The Monsters of Tasmania” charts the adventures of French explorer Captain Blueberry and her monkey friend, Albert, who set sail in search of suspected beasts lurking in and around the Tasmanian waters.
Ms Tribout, who relocated to Hobart from Burgundy, France five years ago, said the picture book was inspired by her husband and the “incredible” Tasmanian landscape that she now calls home.
“I have been drawing since I was a child and this book is a fun and creative outlet. I love illustrating and I have been working on The Monsters of Tasmania for around a year,” she said.
“Tasmania has a totally different lifestyle to the one I led in France. It is quite magical and exciting.
“The book is really an example of people’s imagination … like looking at shapes in the clouds, you can see different creatures hidden in the rocks on the shore, the seaweed in the water and the mountains on land.
“It encourages children to unapologetically open their minds and be creative, which is one of the best parts of childhood.”
The Monsters of Tasmania is part of the Captain Blueberry project which Ms Tribout launched in 2010.
Ms Tribout, who has worked as a freelance illustrator and designer for various businesses and not-for-profit organisations, said the Captain Blueberry character was loosely based on herself.
“I guess she sort of looks like me and has a similar sense of adventure, and of course, she is French,” she said.
“I credit her name to my husband, though. When I was sailing with him one day I was eating a blueberry muffin while lounging in the sun, and he named me Captain Blueberry.
“My husband is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. He is constantly coming up with funny ideas, which I use in my work.”
The Monsters of Tasmania picture book allows children to add photographs of “monsters” they have sighted during their travels.
“My greatest dream is to receive photos of monsters children have found around Tasmania,” Ms Tribout said.
“I love that imagination, it is so special.
“I am currently working on my next Captain Blueberry project, which I think will have something to do with exploring Antarctica. It seems only natural considering how close we are to the continent.”
To follow Captain Blueberry’s latest adventures visit www.captainblueberryjournal.blogspot.com.au or “like” her on Facebook.
The Monsters of Tasmania can be purchased at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart.