The Opportune Arrival of a Wise Raccoon

By Georgia Wright 

Julian Steincke and Jesse Hewitt creators of Raymond The Raccoon

A world overrun by technology, a new generation of screen-addicts—this is the future our society may face. Yet we march toward this fate without a flicker of fear. Why? 

Research upon research highlights the negative impacts that too much screen time can bring to children. Insomnia, behavioural problems, learning difficulties and poor overall health and wellbeing all share one common factor—a direct link to technology overuse. 

That’s where Jesse Hewitt and Julian Steincke come in. With one being a local literary genius and tutor for QUT’s Indigenous Unit, and the other a talented illustrator and graphic designer, the pair are well equipped in navigating the plains of creating an children’s book series about technology overuse. 

As Australians re-emerged from ‘hibernation’ in the form of COVID-19 lockdowns, so did the star of their series, Raymond The Raccoon. Ready to greet the nation, our new furry friend has been brought to life on the pages of the pair’s first instalment, Raymond The Raccoon – Misses His Friends. Jesse and Julians’ shared vision is to use this book—amongst their many others to come—as a ‘pedagogical vehicle’ that educates children on health and wellbeing. Running on a full tank of captivating illustrations and engaging narratives, their series is set to combat technology-use abuse amongst youths. 

Here is the blurb: ‘Follow Raymond, a loveable Raccoon, on a quest through the woods as he experiences some of the harsh realities involved in a culture dominated by screen obsession. Through following Raymond’s quest, children discover that their health, wellbeing, and friendships can be greatly improved by disconnecting from screens and reengaging with the real world.’

Already, ‘Raymond The Raccoon – Misses His Friends’ has had a great local reception, with our wonderful community sweeping under Jesse and Julians’ feet to hoist them up into the spotlight. Stoked about this accomplishment, Jesse reveals, ‘It’s absolutely fantastic to have the first one done and dusted. … In saying that, we have already started on the next in the series!’ 

What’s more, they are also in the process of bringing the community another children’s book series—this one exploring life concepts such as mindfulness, physical health, and emotional wellbeing. 

And to end on an even more exciting note, Jesse and Julian are using this book to keep the world turning for budding bookworms. For every copy sold of ‘Raymond the Raccoon – Misses His Friends’, the co-creators will donate another book to an Australian child!

So, I believe it is time to make like a raccoon and scurry down to their website at www.raymondtheraccoon.com.au to purchase this awesome new children’s book series. Enjoy your read!

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