Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Mike Payne

Charlie's Ark – The Greatest Gift

Pages: 128 Ratings:
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Charlie’s Ark is a collection of stories about a five-year-old boy and his toy box ark given to his grandmother which contains many animals which magically come to life when he whispers a ‘Wordspell’.This is the second Charlie’s Ark book and is full of many new adventures for Charlie and his ark animals.Created and written by award-winning artist Mike Payne, the creator and original artist of the grey, blue-nosed bear, Tatty Teddy.Charlie’s Ark is now being made into a global television series for children.

A man with a head full of ideas, captured colourful images, wrapped them into a cocoon with his mother’s words shared with love. Mike Payne held these beautiful thoughts throughout his corporate career. Eventually he left the hustle and bustle of the office…

…to follow his dreams.

Moving into cartoons, imagery and design, his passion for drawing began to take shape. He had been drawing since he was a baby in a cot. He crayoned on the walls through the bars to conjure those ideas that floated in every part of his being.


Sketching, drawing and creative ideas were a major part of his life as he grew up. He recalls that he always had a pencil and paper in his hand. To his amazement, when he was five years old his mother said,

“It is better to give than to receive.”

He did not understand this and thought she had lost the plot! Presents were a delight, especially the anticipation at the tender age of five, there was nothing better…


Only, as the years rolled on, did he understand that his mother was right. An opportunity to put her thoughts into a story arose from a seed of an idea. Mike explained that his stories are a narrative with a moral in the story. He links kindness and love woven in with humour, a touch of magic and a vivid imagination. There is lively action, line drawings and exquisite colours. Charlie’s Ark was born.

…a story arose from a seed of an idea.

Charlie’s Ark is a beautiful compendium of stories centred on five year old Charlie and his magical toybox ark full of animals. Charlie’s adventures begin. Often read to children these stories are not too long and open up to incorporate the child’s imagination. Every detail is worked. Charlie’s face is always kept out of view. What does he look like? There is ambiguity and intrigue that offer the reader more to enrich their own imagination. One never sees the human characters faces!


The toy box Ark….

Charlie’s ark toybox was given to Charlie as a gift from his grandmother which was made by her father for her to play with as a child. From his workshop he saw a beam of sunlight fall on a chisel blade reflecting the spectrum of a rainbow at the ark which gave it magical qualities. When Charlie speaks the magic ‘Wordspell’ the animals come alive with a cascade of colour and a tingle of rainbow in their being. The stories are a joy for Mike to write but the detail and demand for stories has led him to bring a talented illustrator and friend from Ireland, Adam Pescott to assist him with the illustrations. Together the pictures come alive on the pages

Mike’s current project fills his days, but he reflects on the time it has taken to reach this point in his career. He would recommend that anyone that has an idea should work it and ‘never give up’. His experiences with Charlie’s Ark have taken him down many roads, but despite knockbacks and disappointments he has recently made the breakthrough and been told ‘No, this is too good, you must take it further yourself.’

No, this is too good…

A moment in time. Mike had waited for someone to believe in Charlie’s Ark and could see the potential. He reflects on inventing and making Tatty Teddy a global brand for someone else. Using his own unique style, he can rekindle that five year old boy in his work. Now the magic and his determination to never give up has meant that Charlie’s Ark promises to be made into a global children’s television series.

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