Local children's author takes on mult roles for 'Zobo'
By Joe Moskowitz
Christopher Durham is an actor, an artist, and one of the very few New York State licensed wildlife rehabilitators in New York City. Sometimes he lives there. Sometimes he lives here, and Sunday, people in his second home, Roxbury, were the first to see what Durham is doing now.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, especially little boys and girls, introducing Zobo. That is the name of his new book for children. The first kids met Zobo Sunday during a reading and book signing at the Roxbury General Store.
Durham said he writes nursery rhymes, and he draws, so he combined those skills and came up with Zobo.
Zobo is a clown. As a child, Durham said, he didn’t particularly like most circus clowns. He called them “obnoxious and scary.” But then in 1986 he saw Cirque de Soleil a French and Canadian circus and liked those clowns. “They were sweet and full of decency,” he said
Durham said he had a central character, a beginning, a middle, but no end to his story. He eventually figured that part out, but the News isn’t going to be a spoiler and tell you what happened.
Doing it all
We will tell you that Durham finished the book and decided to do everything by himself. Unlike most children’s books, which have separate people to write and illustrate, he did both and he decided to publish the books by himself. He spent his own money to have 3,000 copies printed. He is also spending his own money to publicize the book and he decided to buck the trend in publishing and he is avoiding Kindle sales, where people can read a book off a tablet computer, or smart phone.
He says he will never own one. He said he likes the idea of having a book in his hands. He said he thinks kids will feel the same way about Zobo.
Libraries like the idea. Durham said they have been very receptive and he has “booked” several libraries for readings of Zobo.