Innocence lost in the ice cream forest

Innocence lost in the ice cream forest

Posted on May 14, 2012 · Posted in english posts

The story behind a small illustrated children’s book …

written by John Mansfield, the author:

This story of discovery was born in a lovely hostel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was asked to write a Children’s book by a professional illustrator. I wrote a funky somewhat light hearted tale, much enjoyed by my buddy Tilo. The professional illustrator, my martial arts teacher was not so impressed!

Time went by…

I was back in the UK. Life was good. I kept in contact with my KL friends. One day I asked Tilo if he would be interested in producing the book. We could give any money generated to charity.

Tilo was happy to get involved. His father, Claus was a good hobby illustrator, we had a team.

I was in the UK: Claus in Leipzig, Germany and  Tilo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I love global projects!

two sketches from the first version of the story, when “Innocence”, then still called “Whitey”, turned into frog and his sisters dressed up as princesses to find him in the ice cream forest

We sketched out the book. I approached a local UK charity. The fund raising person remarked that the book was not politically correct. “What?” I said.

It then dawned on me… If I wanted to do this seriously, and get a bona fide charity to lend its name to the project, I would have to ensure the book was totally suitable for children.

My Sister is a school teacher, an English language teacher. I asked her to read the story and tell me if any of it could be considered inappropriate for young children.

I had initially called the main character Whitey. This was to denote that he was a novice. In martial arts we all start out as white belts. This could be seen as a racist name.

The main character had sisters who would dress up as Princesses, and save him from the ice cream forest. I was informed that this could be seen as incestuous.

Mummy kissed her child…

What to do???

I totally rewrote the story. Claus, who had finished a lot of the illustrations, was not impressed.

Tilo and Claus gave me a hard time. German’s can be very blunt. Stupid… Boring… No-one is called Innocence!  Were some of the nicer things they said about me and the script!

I ignored them, and approached a new Charity.

Some years ago I spent some time as a resident in a Monastery. The Monastery has a secular charity. I approached them with the new story. ‘Delightful’ said the fund raiser, when she read the script.

She seems quite smart.’ I thought.

We then went through the process of setting up an eBook account along with a Print on demand account with Amazon.

page from final version of the story

Amazon is an American company. If you print using an American based publisher you have fill in an IRS tax information form.

We decided, after some discussion to have all the royalty payments made to the Charity office based in the USA.

ROKPA has many projects which cover most of the globe.

As I write the eBook is available, and the printed book is close to being published.

With a little marketing this could be a vehicle for good. Spread the word!


by John Mansfield, author of “Innocence lost in the ice cream forest”


Support the project (all payments for this book go to charity):

buy book on createspace

buy book on Amazon

About John Mansfield


A video message from the author: