never touch


A lost teenager is presented with one rule from a strange old man, “Never touch the blue ape!”  Hissing king cobras, snapping crocodiles and taunting curiosity get the best of Billy, but that’s not the only twist!


Telling the Story

None of us can remember when we first heard the story of The Blue Ape, but I have been telling this story to our kids and grandkids for over 30 years.  Each time it is told somewhat differently with wild embellishments of scary or suspense-building sounds—doors creaking, chest pounding, ape roaring, and more.  Enjoy creating your own variations on the theme and encourage your kids to participate as well.  They'll love it!

Share your Blue Ape stories and photos with us! @blueapebook #theblueape



written by
Bill buffie

Bill Buffie is an internal medicine physician practicing in Indianapolis since 1984 with Indiana Internal Medicine Consultants, for which he served as CEO for 19 years. He and his wife, Jo Ellen, are strong supporters of public education and advocate—through their work and volunteerism—for diversity and inclusion. Their four children and growing number of grandchildren have enjoyed countless hours of delight through the telling and retelling of The Blue Ape.

Bill's other [more serious] writing topics include a lay person's view of how individual religious experience might build bridges across our multicultural society rather than create barriers through The Christian Pluralist: An Invitation From The Pew co-authored with John R. Charles. And on the topic of the effects of prejudice directed at the LGBTQ community, see his American Journal of Public Health article, Public Health Implications of Same-Sex Marriage.


Joel Dale is a native of Vincennes, Indiana and a graduate of the Indiana University Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. After receiving his BFA in Visual Communication Design at Herron, Joel entered the professional sports world designing for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA.

He and his wife, Hannah, live with their children in Indianapolis. You can visit him on the Web at



The Learning Corner


The learning corner

As parents and teachers, we are always looking for teaching moments when we have our kids engaged.  Explore important concepts such as stereotyping and misjudging of others, or just run wild with your child's imagination by speculating on how the blue ape came to be in the cage in the first place!


We didn't shy away from big words!  Let your kids be exposed to new vocabulary words—you'll be surprised at how much they'll retain!

The blue ape rap

One of Billy's secret talents is writing raps! Get into the cadence of this rap—really more for the adults than the children—by thinking in terms of Dr. Seuss and the Broadway musical sensation, Hamilton.  Just have fun and expose young ones to another literary genre that can spark additional creativity in storytelling.


what they're saying...

Meet some of our first fans of The Blue Ape!


Teachers & Schools



Five percent of the profits generated by The Blue Ape sales will be donated to the Perry Township Education Foundation to support teacher grants focused on creative learning.  



School systems, individual schools, or PTAs may wish to buy books in bulk at a discounted price to sell for the purpose of their own fundraising.  Contact us at if interested in this opportunity for a rate sheet for purchase tiers.

For classroom books, please contact us directly through, and we will invoice you for a purchase order from the school, which will qualify you for special non-profit pricing.



Download simple ideas to facilitate discussion with elementary students.