At the phrase “fit and trip” all the students raise their arms and flex their muscles next to their head.
Bromley continues reading and the students listen mesmerized, waiting for the next action word to come out of his mouth.
Bromley is a children’s author who released his first book “Hunka Chunka Monkey shapes up” in July 2011. He is currently making book stops around the state to promote his book and one of the stops he had to make was George West Primary School because once upon a time that was Bromley’s primary school, too.
Before he started to read his book, Bromley told the tale of how Hunka Chunka Monkey and Hunka Dunka Donkey came to be.
They were nicknames that he and his son used to call each other when his son was very young.
Bromley told the stuents when he was overseas working in Iraq, the memories of his son as a child came back to him and he started writing what later turned out to be a book. It only took him an hour and a half to write it but about two years to actually get it published. He said the illustrations alone took seven months but that he was very happy with the results from illustrator Kid Cardona.
The book follows Hunka Chunka Monkey from a lazy tree monkey who loves chocolate chip cookies with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream “dipped in double fudge dipping sauce” to an active monkey who makes friends with Hunka Dunka Donkey. He learns to play basketball with him and throughout the process become “fit and trim.”
The main theme of the book is activity and how learning to be active led Hunka Chunka Monkey to a healthy and happy “fit and trim” life.
Before Bromley starts each of his live readings, he gives the students action words to listen for such as “fit and trim,” “bounce,” climb” and “adventure.” Each word has an action that goes with it, so when Bromley reads, the kids perform the action. It keeps the students interested and listening throughout the entire reading of the book.
When Bromley finished his reading to the George West students, he asked them questions about the book. They were able to answer the questions and it helps them better understand the theme.
Bromley has aspirations to turn the single book into an entire series that features Hunka Chunka Monkey, Hunka Dunka Donkey and a slew of characters that they run into such as Bully the Badger and Cheater the Cheetah. Each of the characters that the monkey and the donkey run into in future books will have some sort of character flaw and monkey and donkey will help them overcome that.
“I really believe what children learn in their childhood stays with them,” Bromley said.
He hopes through his books children will be able to learn about basic life skills.