Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My first children's book – "The Pebble's Wish."

The Journey Begins!

I am proud to announce the publishing of my first of what will ultimately be many children's books!

The Pebble's Wish is one of those books that is a bit hard to categorize, but is very simple in its telling. It tells the story about the power of wish through a small pebble in the forest that learns to become so much more than a normal pebble. First by walking on land, then swimming or floating in the water, then flying, and ultimately radiating his own inner light. 

That description may sound a bit abstract, but the inspiration came from a place rooted deeply in the real world. I doubt you need to be told that today's world revolves more and more around screens. Television, computers, phones, and now even watches.

There are many fantastic things about the Internet, from access to massive amounts of information and the ability to connect around the world instantly. And many video games have been shown to improve hand-eye coordination and various intellectual skills. But if we're not careful, those things can come at a cost. And one of those big costs is that we often sit still for longer and longer periods of time, and forget to get up and run, dance, swim or move in any other way. This is especially important with children.

I witnessed this firsthand several years ago while working as a substitute teacher. For several weeks I was assigned to a particular group of classes where my students were separated from the main school because of construction. Instead, they were temporarily in a tiny building nearby with no outdoor area, and given little outlet for creativity or movement. As a result, by the end of the day even the quietest among them were bouncing off the walls. 

Around that same time I was also taking acting classes, which is where I learned about some of the amazing movement exercises created by the famed acting teacher Michael Chekhov. Some of his students included greats like Marilyn Monroe, Anthony Quinn, Clint Eastwood, Yul Brynner, Jack Palance, and so many more we admire to this day.

Although I often used slightly different language than Chekhov in the The Pebble's Wish, most of the action revolves around the exercise he referred to as "molding, floating, flying and radiating." 

One of my greatest joys in the development of this book is when I started reading it aloud to groups of children and saw that even without being prompted, many of them started spontaneously moving in the various ways that the characters were described. My wish is that in reading it yourself you encourage your listeners (or readers!) to move like the characters as well.

Finally, it must be mentioned that I was incredibly fortunate in finding my illustrator Kaira Mezulis who brought the story to life in a way that far surpassed my original intent. To learn more about her work, click here.

Please check out my book store, and remember to keep moving!


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