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lonely beast

Irish 'Lonely Beast' app featured on US Apple TV ad

The fun Alphabeast app, in which the Lonely Beast teaches children their ABCs, was created by a Dublin trio.

AN IRISH ANIMATED app for children featuring a hairy, lonely beast has been chosen to feature in the new Apple TV ad for the iPad.

The Lonely Beast books are written and illustrated by Chris Judge, and have grown into the Lonely Beast ABC, an app for helping children learn their ABCs that can be used on an iPad or iPhone.


Huge boost

Speaking to, Judge said that having the video included was “amazing, because the app itself was made just by the three of us”. By the three of us, he means himself, his brother Simon Judge and friend James Kelleher – the trio made the app in their spare time, funding it using Fundit.

It’s a huge boost for them to see the app reach the level where it is recognised by Apple in the United States. The project began when James and Simon pitched the app idea to Chris, as they were interested in making apps. Initially, Judge thought the aim was to replicate the book, which he wasn’t keen on, but James had the idea for an ABC app that would also mean expanding the Lonely Beast’s world.

“We ended up having a meeting and falling around laughing at all sorts of daft stuff,” remembered Judge. Kelleher taught himself to code and they looked after the entire project themselves, creating new worlds for the Lonely Beast to visit on his ABC adventure.

Pic: The Lonely Beast website

“Keep it simple” was their key phrase, said Judge.

Both the books and the app have seen a huge reaction from children not just within Ireland, but worldwide, and by using new technology to expand the Lonely Beast’s world, Judge is able to keep a foot in both the traditional and tech publishing worlds.

“It’s just brilliant when people tell me ‘I can’t get my iPad back from my kid because of the app’,” laughed Judge.

I’m a big fan of technology – it’s impossible to fight it. I am happy to embrace it and see where it goes. Making the app was a huge thrill. I still love the paper books, they are so important to me. It’s to not just replicate them.

The Lonely Beast character himself was inspired by Judge’s childhood fascination with Chewbacca, monsters, and the yeti in Tin Tin in Tibet. “It just blew my mind as a kid,” he said of the latter. “The beast is an amalgamation of all the different monsters I grew up loving.”

The next book in the series, Brave Beast, is released on 9 March, with a child-friendly launch event that day from 11am – 3pm at the Lighthouse Cinema. For the app fans, there’s even more good news: the trio are already sketching out ideas for Lonely Beast 123, where the beast will guide children through learning their numbers.

There’s quite the action-packed year ahead for the beast, who Judge first thought of as “a sad, scary kind of guy”.

But once I started telling his story in the book, I realised this guy would like to eat cakes and do his garden… he suddenly became a lot more friendly.

The Lonely Beast ABC is available on iTunes for €2.69.

Read: Two out of work filmmakers launch creative app for exploring Dublin>

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