A fluffy flying dog guides children to build good habits and practice positive thinking in a new picture book by a Brunel public health lecturer.
Based on his own soft toy ‘pillow pet’, Dr Kei Long Cheung’s Fluffy’s Isle of Change teaches key ideas for behaviour change such as awareness of the need to change behaviour, attitude, social support and self-belief.
“It’s more important than ever to be adaptable,” said Dr Cheung. “While change can be scary and something people avoid, it is the path to personal development and something to embrace.
“I would like children to learn the mechanism of behaviour change and understand that change – albeit scary – can be important and positive. Hopefully this book will be their gateway to feeling empowered in knowing that important change comes from within.’’
The idea for the book came to Dr Cheung when his PhD supervisor, now friend, Prof Hein de Vries at Maastricht University taught him the underlying mechanism of behaviour change. Hein and Kei Long have since written much on using the Integrated-Change Model to design digital personalised health programs. The model shows behaviour change as a dynamic process, where people need to be self-aware before they can self-motivate.
Fluffy, the cuddly toy pillow dog, goes everywhere with Dr Cheung. “He’s basically the mascot of my life. I was teaching this behaviour change model at university level, when one day, while staring at Fluffy, I felt the urge to bring Fluffy to life. I wanted Fluffy to teach children – in an entertaining and easy way – the ideas in the model depicted by the animals on the Isle of Change (homophonous to ‘I love change’),” he said.
“My illustrator, Irtifa’ul Qudriyah, from Indonesia, truly captured the feel I was after. She loved the idea and we fine-tuned the images over several months, tweaking and trying things until the illustrations emoted the feel, key messages and charm I was after.”
Fluffy’s Isle of Change is both a paperback (£9.80) and e-book (£6) available on amazon.co.uk