Brandon residents Kat Mahoney and her daughter, V (pen name Voidstarz), have published a book titled Astrid & The Case of the Missing Cupcake. This book is a part of a new series of children’s books.
Astrid & The Case of the Missing Cupcake is about Astrid, a 7-year-old Filipino girl with a love for cosplay, video games, baking and solving mysteries. Astrid also has a wild imagination that tends to get away from her and sometimes gets her into sticky situations. But this time, Astrid literally has a sticky situation, as there is a missing cupcake. This mystery needs to be solved quickly so it does not ruin someone’s day.
Mahoney is the author and V provides the amazing illustrations.
Astrid was inspired by the author and based on the life of the book’s digital artist and Mahoney’s daughter. V is a high-functioning autistic young adult who was severely bullied in high school and struggles with autism and an anxiety disorder. Her journey with cosplay, video games and artworks was the coping she needed to help both the mother and daughter through difficult times.
Mahoney said, “V has autism, so she has always struggled with communication, anxiety, social phobia and the ability to fit in with her peers. She was bullied extensively in high school and cosplay allowed her to reach out to fans with similar interests. She found many kids her age and younger struggled with the same issues and found cosplay a very comforting place.”
Mahoney added, “V has been into cosplay since she was in kindergarten, as mom is a content creator, video game influencer and cosplayer, so she was raised around the industry.”
In addition to a series of Astrid books, the duo is working on a web cartoon series.
All of the books revolve around gamification or what is also known as educational entertainment, such as cosplay, video games, board games and STEAM. Each series will focus on a different aspect within that industry as well as put some focus on autism and how these interests can positively benefit mental health.
Mahoney said, “Our mission is to provide an insider look for parents and educators to understand how geek interests such as cosplay, video games and the like can lead to extensive careers as well as positive mental health.”
The book can be purchased at www.astridbooks.com.