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Highlights | Interviews

KING TUT, THE NEW “INCLUSIVE” SUCCESS BY PHILIP OSBOURNE

26 Nov - 2021

On January 26, the stories of little Tutankhamon will be officially published by Universal Publisher and will be presented at the Egypt Book Fair

“King Tut, Tutankhamon is back” is the new book series by bestselling author Philip Osbourne, who is now published in 56 countries and has 3 TV adaptations underway. The author has created an inclusive work, starring the little pharaoh Tutankhamon who finds himself living in the present day in a society full of prejudices. Philip Osbourne has decided, in agreement with publisher and distributor Universal Publisher, which exclusively manages Osbourne’s titles for the Arab and MENA markets, to launch the book series in Egypt and then following in other countries. Osbourne’s book series is only the starting point since, thanks to agreements with CSA, in 2022 activity books will be published with King Tut as the protagonist.

What makes “King Tut” special?

This is a book series that explores very important issues. Rarely do children’s books deal with issues such as the generation gap between parents and children. It seems as if the literary mainstream doesn’t want to deal with the problem, which is increasingly evident nowadays, between children and parents. In my book I present two parents who live in Ancient Egypt and a son, little King Tut, who has discovered the future, our 2022. They have different expectations. On the one hand the son wants the technology and treats of a “new” society and on the other hand the parents want him to be a pharaoh.

King Tut tries to replace his parents with robots, but after a while he realizes that he has gone from super perfect parents to super imperfect parents. At the end of the day, experiencing feelings, for better or worse, is what you need to do… and tell your kids about it… and not run away from emotions and relationships (often through technology).

In addition to that, the book is about friendship. In what way?

This is a book that approaches the different nuances of friendship and love. Little King Tut moves through time thanks to his grandfather’s inventions, which no one in the house remembers about. Yet, the grandfather seems the youngest and most connected to the boy. Theirs is a special, familial, but very intense friendship. The grandfather asks the grandson to bring him fast food from the future and the grandson agrees, if of course the grandfather will be careful with his diet… Between them there is an alchemy that makes them “united”. However, that’s not the only friendship I mention. Tut meets a group of friends from the future and they are by no means bullies, let alone submissive to his authority; they are kids, who want an equal relationship, at least almost all of them… This is a theme I like…does the economic difference create obstacles in relationships? Having something more than others or something less how much does it affect a relationship?

How is this book inclusive and educational?

I like to narrate through the highway of pop, which goes straight to the point without many frills. And the car I travel in is funny, it makes you laugh, because I don’t know any other language but that of comedy. I don’t like books that pause to tell you how tall the statue of liberty is or how bad it is to eat candy bars. I think the message gets through more powerfully if it brings a smile to the child or teen. Telling through laughter is harder but more effective. We need to sensitize the adults first (because they are the present) and then the children (who will be our future) on this important issue, and the best way is to do it through small things and not through fake stories full of nice sentences. Tut coexists well with his new diverse team and as a foreigner is welcomed without any problem, naturally, as it should be. The adults at school, on the other hand, are the first to want to understand where he comes from, how he came to the United States and who his parents are. Do the adults’ questions hide simple curiosity or distrust? The story doesn’t go into it, but, as a counterpoint, it becomes
evident that the little ones don’t ask questions; they experience friendship regardless of where they come from, the families they are born into or the things they own. I try to be inclusive and educational in content without using an ostentatious literary form, which often plays against entertainment. A story must still entertain.

What do you expect from King Tut: another TV adaptation and another bestseller?

I expect it to appeal to little ones and maybe even their parents. I hope it will make them smile and think, that it will entertain them. I don’t care about the rest, what will come; anything beyond the interest of my young readers will be something additional. Few people can write bestsellers all the time, and I would be happy if publishers and readers appreciated my effort to create a multi-layered pop work.

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