Donald Trunk and The Curse Of Crabzilla
Juliet Coombe, a highly versatile writer who worked on the first Galle Literary Festival and has moved into writing adventurous children’s books since launched Donald Trunk and The Curse of Crabzilla at Jetwing Lighthouse this week. One of a series of books that combine the life of a very mischievous elephant using experts on wildlife for the entire story line, which she combines in fascinating ways with the islands amazing history. She is a storyteller with a wicked sense of humour and a wish to inspire readers to see the world from different angles by stepping into the shoes of others. Her travels, as a writer passionate about the world, took her to Sri Lanka for two decades, where she lived out a Grimm’s fairytale existence in the ancient Fort City of Galle, a mysterious place full of contradictions and curses, one of which catapulted her back to her childhood homeland in the UK, where she has had to start again, with her two Sri Lankan-British sons. Behind the colourful adventures, there are many important messages and lessons for us all to learn-lessons Juliet learnt the hard way in her quest for honor and fair play for everyone.
At the event animal costume staff and artists from around the country helped children to recreate the great characters of this second book in many forms from fruit carving to traditional mask painting and even creating Donald Trunks boat using recycled items: Donald, a monkey, a butterfly, and a robber crab amongst others appeared in different forms, in different rooms with diverse themes and so much fun was had by all. The author, Juliet Coombe, joined forces with Shiromal Cooray, Jetwing’s Chairman and Managing Director who has also written a fascinating book, A Man in his time, about her father, Herbert Cooray, the inspiration behind Jetwing Hotels and Travels and its rise to the top. They were joined by Herman Gunaratne, the famous Sri Lankan author of some groundbreaking political books on the tea industry and Sri Lankan government, as well as his autobiographical The Suicide Club (yes, he is still with us, having not fallen for the seduction to take a once-in-a-lifetime offer to join that infamous fatal club!), which relates his highly entertaining rags-to-riches rise through the ranks of the tea industry, and definitely not forgetting his most recent book, God’s Secret Agent, A Battle Against Dark Forces, about the great excitements at all levels of society, caused by the dark side of Sri Lanka. At the end of the talks the multi award winning l book and art director for Bench Creative, Monica Lawrie talked about the future of publishing and the role of technology.
The book is full of more trunk-speak, twists and turns and humorous takes on the confusing modern high tech world we live in, like East-West contrasts, such as Donald being told by butterflies in England that he can only meet a mate on ‘Tuskbook’ and by taking lots of pictures for ‘Flitter’, instead of the old school way of meeting at the watering hole. During the festival Juliet Coombe can be found in The Serendipity Arts Cafe at number 65 Leyn Baan Street, Galle Fort so go on get a signed copy and show her a book you might want to write.