The year was 1983 and a young mother was at home in Perth, Western Australia with her two sons. Her youngest son was only twelve months old and she had dressed him in a blue jumpsuit with a white bib. Her oldest son who was five years old remarked that he looked like Superman. She said he couldn’t be Superman but he could be a Super Baby with super powers and instead of saving adults who were in danger he could save babies and children instead.
From this chance remark made by her son, Jennifer Bates began to create Cotsville and the characters who would live in this ‘make-believe’ town in Western Australia.
Super Baby would be the Superhero of the town and joining him would be a yellow teddy bear called Ted, who would be his side-kick. Together they would fly around the town in an old fashioned pram that had been converted into an airplane and called the Pram Jet. Their mission in life would be keeping an eye on all the children in the town to make sure they stayed safe and out of danger.
With the description of her characters, Super Baby and Ted plus the other children in the town, Jennifer asked a graphic artist she knew in Perth to draw some initial sketches for her. After writing stories for six books which were based around safety for children, she then had the final coloured drawings finished and self published one of the picture books in that same year. She sold that first book through bookstores in Perth plus distributed them to other bookstores throughout Australia.
In the years that followed, Jennifer was operating a full time business as well as raising two young boys. She couldn’t find the time to continue what she had intended to do which was to publish the other books but never gave up on the idea of completing them.
When Jennifer was able to revisit her Cotsville project again, the year was 2010. By now her two sons were all grown up and independent adults and she had more time on her hands. At this stage, computers and the internet were are big part of our life and the way books were published and printed had changed so much since 1983.
Jennifer had to find someone who would be able to reproduce the hand drawn characters and designs from all those years ago. After searching the internet she managed to find a young man, Luke Watson, a terrific cartoonist and illustrator who lived on the other side of Australia. Luke was able to draw the illustrations, keeping the same style and doing a fantastic job to finish the remaining five books. New characters were added along the way, like Grandma Dot and Bonnie, Uncle Jim and Aunty Twinkle.
So, at the end of 2011, the complete book series – Super Baby & Ted and the Cotsville Kids – was published. Hooray, mission accomplished!
Jennifer also produced a 3D animated video of one of her books with a talented team of animation graduates in Perth, Western Australia and this was completed and released in 2016. You can watch the video on the Home Page of our website.
A lot of years went by and a lot of time was spent to make all of this come to fruition but Jennifer never gave up on her ‘dream’. She is excited about what the future holds for all the cute and adorable characters who are part of the Cotsville community.
So now you know how Super Baby and Ted and their friends were created. We hope you will visit our website regularly for updates and news on what is happening in Cotsville Town.