Jingles The Elephant Saves Christmas: Black Santa!

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RWYK Interview with Children’s Book Illustrator /Author  – Erik Island

Hey there!  Welcome to the Reading with Your Kids Podcast, your definitive guide to enlightening information about children’s books & some of the amazing children’s books authors all around the world!

As we all know Artwork is a very important part of children’s books, especially picture books and graphic novels, and now many chapter books too. So to get an insiders look or know more about behind the scenes and creative processes behind a picture book, we’re thrilled to welcome author/illustrator Eric Island to the Reading with Your Kids Podcast.

Here’s an effervescently deep conversation between beloved children’s book author and our host Jed Doherty and a very talented author/illustrator Eric Island.  Listen in as they discuss Erik’s wonderful picture book Jingles The Elephant Saves Christmas: Black Santa- a cute yet informative book that is filled with kid-friendly facts and beautiful illustrations, his inspiration for the book, upcoming projects and his career as an illustrator so far. Be sure to tune in & you’ll be so glad you did!


Get to know more about Erik island

Erik Island attended the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, OH
for Illustration & Animation and The Academy of Art in San Francisco
for Motion Picture & Video…

Spending over ten years working on documentaries, music videos and
independent films across the hills of San Francisco and the valleys of Los Angeles.

Erik got his Photoshop chops working freelance, doing illustrations and colorful designs for college textbooks
for several years before concentrating on his own work in his hometown of Chicago, IL.

‘Jingles the Elephant Saves Christmas’ started as a greeting card that Erik made for friends & family years ago, but a bigger idea of Jingles stuck in his head.

After experimenting with Garageband and iMovie, Erik released the video ‘Jingles the Elephant’ in 2012, because he couldn’t get a song he wrote out of his head.

Many of his friends saw the video and demanded that, with so many illustrations, he should publish the whole thing as a book.

‘Jingles the Elephant Saves Christmas’
is his first children’s book.


More about Jingles The Elephant Saves Christmas: Black Santa

‘Jingles the Elephant Saves Christmas’ is about Jingles, a young & hopeful African elephant who earnestly dreams of leading Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. Even though Jingles crashes and burns (literally) trying to defy gravity– making him the subject of laughter among the other animals– Jingles refuses to let go of his dream. One Christmas Eve, a visitor arrives to the village who may help Jingles’ dream come true! With 39 pages and 40 full-color illustrations, ‘Jingles the Elephant Saves Christmas’ will be a perfect addition to any young child’s holiday reading selection. This particular version features an African-American (Black) Santa Claus.


In this episode, you’ll hear

  • Erik reads out an excerpt from Jingles The Elephant Saves Christmas: Black Santa
  • How did Erik became a children book’s author/illustrator?
  • What inspires his work and what sparked the idea for Jingles The Elephant Saves Christmas: Black Santa
  • Some of the important lessons Jingles teaches to kids and what is Erik currently working on
  • Some great words of wisdom from a french poet and novelist Victor Hugo and much more. Tune in now to catch all the fun!

A big thank you to Erik Island for joining us and for sharing his story!

If you’ve enjoyed this episode then please rate and review our show in iTunes and share it by clicking the social media buttons at the bottom of this page!

Thanks for tuning in and have a stellar day!


You can learn more about Erik Island & his book by visiting

His website: http://erikisland.com/

Website for Jingle: https://eriknns.wixsite.com/website

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jingles-Elephant-Saves-Christmas-Black

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JinglestheElephant

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erikisland/



Jedlie’s Magic Circus is fun for the whole family. Please visit www.jedlie.com to find out how to bring this inspiring show to your community.

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