By Colin MacGillivray
DAD jokes might be renowned for making children roll their eyes, but Whittlesea father Daniel Stones’ ability to put a smile on young people’s faces is no bull.
Mr Stones is seeking funding to produce a new children’s book full of bull-related puns, entitled Laugh-a-bull, 500 copies of which he hopes to donate to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The book takes the suffix ‘ble’ and turns it into an endless stream of bull jokes. For example: what do you call a bull who likes to go scuba diving? Submers-i-bull.
Mr Stones was inspired to write the book after being stood down from his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I started off getting stood down from work, and when you’re not used to that sort of thing it can hit you hard,” he said.
“You have days where you’re feeling down, and I got to a point where I thought, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore, it’s time to be happy’
“I was thinking back to some fun times I had with my family in the car, telling some of these funny jokes and mucking around.
“I thought, ‘there’s probably something in that’, and started to play around with it more.”
Mr Stones said the concept grew quickly as children – including his own – quickly embraced the bull jokes.
“My kids are a little bit older now, but they love hearing the new jokes and coming up with their own versions of it,” he said.
“They have got a really deep connection to it because it started out in the car a few years ago when they were younger. I think they’re enjoying the journey and seeing it come to life.
“Everyone who hears a bull joke is coming up with their own within 20 seconds.”
Mr Stones said he was excited to donate copies of the book to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which aims to brighten the lives of seriously ill children.
“The work they do is well known, well-regarded and speaks for itself,” he said.
“They focus on helping put smiles on kids’ faces, and to have something that does that, it immediately hit me that it would be great to help get these books into the hands of sick children and give them something they could use.”
Mr Stones turned to crowdfunding website Pozible to help fund the book.
The fundraising goal is $8000, which he said would cover illustrations, publishing and distribution costs, a colouring book and marketing.
As of yesterday afternoon $3125 had been raised.
Mr Stones said Pyalong resident and digital artist Cassie Fleming would be the book’s illustrator.
He said he hoped residents of Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire would back the project.
“I’d love to think the locals will get behind this and support it,” he said.
“It’s a great cause, it’s fun, and if we can get it over the line I think it will do some good, which is what we’re trying to do.
“I want to thank people for their support and willingness to do what they can in these times, which is really all anyone can do.”
People can view concept art and donate to the Laugh-a-bull project by visiting www.pozible.com/project/laugh-a-bull.
The deadline for donations is midnight on Monday, August 17.