Unique children’s book was inspired by Quadrophenia film

Stinger, written and illustrated by Tina Freeman, features a Mod, scooter-riding bee that works as a bell boy at a posh Brighton, England hotel who takes a trip to London to live out his rock-music dreams.
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 Stinger, a delightful children’s book written and illustrated by Tina Freeman, was inspired by the 1979 film version of Quadrophenia.

Stinger, a delightful children’s book written and illustrated by Tina Freeman, was inspired by the 1979 film version of Quadrophenia.

By John Curley

Tina Freeman’s wonderful illustrated book Stinger will surely delight children. The adults reading it to children will enjoy it for a different reason, the many rock-music references that appear throughout the book. There are references in the book to The Who, The Beatles, The Small Faces, Steve Marriott, The Jam, Mods, Quadrophenia, London’s Marquee club, London’s Hammersmith Odeon, The Who’s Tommy album and Elton John’s Pinball Wizard character from the Tommy film among others.

The protagonist of the book is Stinger, a scooter-riding Mod bee that lives in Brighton, England on Brighton Pier and works as a bell boy at a posh Brighton hotel that is patterned after Brighton’s Grand Hotel. Stinger is based on Sting’s Ace Face/Bell Boy character from the 1979 film version of Quadrophenia. (Sting has seen the book and gave Freeman his approval.) The story features a trip to London that Stinger takes to live out his rock-music dreams. Ultimately, Stinger comes to realize that there is no place like home. The characters in the book are all either bees or dogs, and there are cheeky references to both in the book. “The Beetles” are shown crossing “A Bee Road,” for example.

 While children will surely enjoy the book, the adults reading it to them will get a kick out of the rock-music references that appear throughout the book. One example of that is the band of dogs, The Whoof, that were inspired by The Who. (Illustration by Tina Freeman)

While children will surely enjoy the book, the adults reading it to them will get a kick out of the rock-music references that appear throughout the book. One example of that is the band of dogs, The Whoof, that were inspired by The Who. (Illustration by Tina Freeman)

Freeman met with The Who’s Pete Townshend, who wrote the 1973 album version of Quadrophenia upon which the 1979 film is based, and Who manager Bill Curbishley. Townshend gave the book his seal of approval.

Freeman would like see an animated series of Stinger come to fruition. This book project is timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of the Quadrophenia film and it is featured in a Kickstarter campaign. There are several packages available via Kickstarter, including a softback edition, a hardback edition and a hardback edition that comes with a 7-inch record featuring narration of the story by Phil Daniels, who portrayed the protagonist Jimmy Cooper in the 1979 Quadrophenia film. A hardback edition that is signed by Freeman and comes with the 7-inch record featuring Daniels’ narration is also available.

 The book’s Stinger character is a bell boy at a posh hotel in Brighton, England, lives on Brighton Pier and was inspired by the Ace Face/Bell Boy character portrayed by Sting in the 1979 film version of Quadrophenia. (Illustration by Tina Freeman)

The book’s Stinger character is a bell boy at a posh hotel in Brighton, England, lives on Brighton Pier and was inspired by the Ace Face/Bell Boy character portrayed by Sting in the 1979 film version of Quadrophenia. (Illustration by Tina Freeman)

Stinger was written and illustrated by Freeman. The book was designed by Anthony Mulryan. Assisting Freeman with the Kickstarter project is Nicky Weller, sister of Paul Weller, co-author of the books Growing Up With…The Jam and Growing Up With…Punk and co-curator of The Jam’s About The Young Idea exhibitions in London in 2015 and Liverpool in 2016.

The Kickstarter campaign for Stinger can be found at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tinafreeman/stinger-special-edition-book

Additional information about Stinger can be found at:
Web site: https://www.stingerthebook.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stingerthebook
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stingerthebook
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stingerbytinafreeman/

 Stinger’s illustrator and writer, Tina Freeman, is pictured here second from right at a recent event in London that honored the 40th anniversary of the release of the Quadrophenia film. In addition to Freeman, also pictured here are Quadrophenia cast members (left to right) Mark Wingett, Trevor Laird, Leslie Ash and Phil Daniels. (Photo by Nicky Weller)

Stinger’s illustrator and writer, Tina Freeman, is pictured here second from right at a recent event in London that honored the 40th anniversary of the release of the Quadrophenia film. In addition to Freeman, also pictured here are Quadrophenia cast members (left to right) Mark Wingett, Trevor Laird, Leslie Ash and Phil Daniels. (Photo by Nicky Weller)