Corrigan Revels, assistant director for student leadership and development at UA Little Rock’s Student Experience Center, has published his first children’s book.
“Papa’s Dude” tells the story of Quentin, whose stay with his grandparents takes an unexpected turn when his grandfather, known as Papa Dude, encourages him to overcome his fear and share his talents with the world.
“Quentin has this awesome and very uplifting day with his grandfather,” Revels said. “Quentin has something else on his mind, but Papa Dude brings him out of it to enjoy the day. He also helps him overcome his insecurities when it comes to playing the saxophone.”
While the plot of the book was “pure imagination,” Revels said the title character of Papa Dude was inspired by his own grandfather, Robert Carter.
“For me, Papa Dude was my papaw on my mom’s side, Robert Carter, who passed away at the end of 2015,” Revels said. “That was for the inspiration of this book. Ideally, Papa Dude could be an uncle, father, or grandfather for any child who reads the book.”
Having grown up with a solid relationship with his own grandfather, Revels said that he wanted the book to shine a positive light on the impact that grandparents have within families.
“I grew up in the same household as my grandparents, and I feel that sometimes grandparents can be easily forgotten,” he said. “I wanted to tell a story where there are cool grandparents who like to have fun with their families.”
Originally a film script, Revels wrote “Papa Dude” in 2020 for a Disney film initiative. When it wasn’t accepted, Revels thought it would make an excellent children’s book, but he has high hopes that “Papa’s Dude” will still make it as a film.
“I would love to turn this book into an animated short, which is a venture that I never thought I would be interested in,” Revels said. “I wanted to tell it as a mix between ‘The Parent Trap’ and ‘Sister Act.’”
As someone who wasn’t an avid reader until adulthood, Revels hopes “Papa Dude” will encourage children to find a love of reading that was missing from his own childhood.
“I really hope this book will bring families together and encourage young African American boys to learn to enjoy reading,” Revels said. “My Papaw was a big reader. He didn’t finish regular public school, but he sat at the dining table every day to read the newspapers back to back.”
“Papa Dude” is 38 pages long and recommended for children ages 4-8. It can be found on Amazon and AuthorHouse.