New Children’s Book: Chunky and the OBeast


New Comic Book Series, ‹Chunky and Friends‹, Tackles Childhood Obesity, Self-Esteem, Peer Pressure and More!

Baltimore, MD ­ March 30, 2015

Encompassing the perfect mix of humor and education, and a fun, relatable cast of characters, the new children’s series, Chunky and Friends: Chunky and the O­Beast, seeks to bring awareness to some of the most daunting and pressing social issues facing kids today.

The debut book in the series, Chunky and the O­Beast, tackles the dangers of childhood obesity and stresses the importance of eating well and engaging in physical activity.

Synopsis: Chunky is a 10­year­old boy who finds out that he is in danger of becoming obese. With his vivid imagination, he confuses what was discussed during his doctor’s visit and believes he will soon transform into an O­BEAST. Can Chunky make sense of it all and stop the O­Beast from taking over?

The author, Joseph Vivens, got the idea for the first book after hearing concerns from his wife, a pediatrician, over the disturbing number of overweight children and families she was encountering. She would talk about these children who were coming in with very serious health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes a direct result of being overweight, says Vivens. A light bulb went off. If we could bring attention to serious problems, like obesity, in a way that a child could understand and relate to, we could affect real change.

Vivens enlisted the help of an old friend, José Dominguez, an illustrator, whose own personal struggle with weight gave him the understanding and insight needed to bring the characters to life. I think there’s a character in Chunky and Friends to whom everyone can relate, says Dominguez. Furthermore, in going with a comic book style, the stories transcend all ages, making them enjoyable for children and parents.

Chunky and the O­Beast is currently available in paperback on Amazon.com ($9.99) and digitally via the publisher site ($5.99). The book sales have been soaring since a recent Fox45 interview, an interactive reading at the NBC4 Health Expo and local farmer’s markets, book fairs and school readings.

Information on the Chunky and Friends series, including its blog and links to social media pages, can be found at www.chunkyandfriends.com.

Joseph R. Vivens