I recently read a book, a beautiful book, a children’s book. I am a grown woman, but Rumple Buttercup by Matthew Gray Gubler is a heartwarming tale that took me on an emotional journey I was not expecting.
Full disclosure, I am a Matthew Gray Gubler fan. I have been enamoured with this man’s talents since I was introduced to him on the television show Criminal Minds.
Beyond acting Matthew is a director, a model, an artist, a writer, and even a magician. He also does an uncanny Dr. Dolittle impression. I once saw a video of him having a serious discussion with a chicken, that had a profound effect on the animal.
As details of his book came out, my reasons for wanting the book became twofold.
So when I found out he had written a book, I was certain I would be purchasing one. Turns out it was a children’s book. I didn’t care, Matthew had illustrated the book, which meant I would finally get my hands on some Matthew Gray Gubler art.
As details of his book came out, my reasons for wanting the book became twofold. Apparently, the story included an imaginary friend, and I had some unresolved issues from my childhood involving an imaginary friend.
You see, when I was a kid, I had a friend. A friend that no one else could see, but me. He was very real to me. To everyone else, he didn’t exist. The people around me pretended they could see him, but I knew they couldn’t. They were just humouring me.
One day I overheard my parents discussing my friend and me. My father suggested to my mother that I was perhaps a “bit off my nut”, as a nicer way of phrasing it. My mother tried explaining to him that many kids had “imaginary friends”, and it was quite normal. Dad didn’t think there was anything “normal” about it, or me.
That conversation has stuck with me. And while I know I’m not “crazy”, I have never quite felt like I really fit in. There is a part of me that I keep to myself, a creative side. It is the truest part of who I am, but it is kept within me. I am reluctant to share my imagination for fear of being ridiculed again. And I still wonder if my experience with my imaginary friend was normal.
I have never met anyone else that had an imaginary friend. I know lots of people have them, and it is normal. But, I don’t know of anyone, personally, that has also experienced it. I have tried researching it online, but have failed to find anything akin to my encounter with my imaginary friend.
I do know that Matthew Gray Gubler has experience with imaginary friends. And what better expert than someone with experience? So, I figured, perhaps his new book could provide some unanswered questions, and also serve as a form of therapy. Certainly it would be much cheaper than therapy, and a lot more fun. So I waited impatiently for the release of Rumple Buttercup.
I was awestruck by the beauty of the book itself.
When April 2nd arrived, I was giddy as a schoolgirl. My book had arrived! I tore into the package, like a kid opening a gift at Christmas. I was awestruck by the beauty of the book itself. It did not resemble a children’s book at all, but a classic piece of literature. I knew immediately it was not going to be stuck on a shelf.
The entire book is hand drawn by Matthew Gray Gubler. All of it, from the art work to the words, and even the barcode. There is not one part of the book that he did not illustrate by hand. It will be staying out on display, as it is a true piece of art.
I am a Rumple, more than I even realized.
Once I began my journey with Rumple, I was hooked. I was in tears by the end of the first chapter. I did not expect to be affected by this book the way I was, it touched me deeper than I could have ever imagined. I am a Rumple, more than I even realized. I related to him on a level that was very personal, and it was shocking. I thought I was going to get some information about an imaginary friend. I got so much more.
With his trademark humour, and tenderness Matthew brought me into Rumple’s world. I immediately felt empathy for a creature, that should have seemed alien to me. A passenger on his journey, I accompanied Rumple as he discovered a world more accepting of him than he ever imagined.
It is an important lesson that everyone should learn, regardless of age.
Rumple Buttercup is a beautiful story about loving yourself, embracing your uniqueness, and accepting others as they are. It is an important lesson that everyone should learn, regardless of age.
Rumple has given me the courage to shed my banana peel and face the ridicule. Unfortunately, I am no further ahead with answers about my imaginary friend. If anything, I fear Dad may have been right. Rumple’s imaginary friend, Candy Corn Carl, did not talk back. So I guess I will continue my search for answers, unless Matthew Gray Gubler’s next book solves my unsolved mysteries.