About a year and a half ago, I became involved with a book project for the group Kids Konnected. It is an amazing support group for kids whose parents have or have had cancer. Previously known as Komen's Kids, it was founded by a 11 year old boy who found himself feeling alone as he dealt with his mom's battle with cancer. Everything about the organization is truly inspiring and I really suggest a visit to the website for any child or teen who might be going through a similar time in their life. There are now chapters of this group all around the U.S. where kids can get together and share their feelings with one another.
So more about the book: it's titled "Moxie" and is a picture book that helps to educate young children on dealing with the difficult subject matter of cancer from a child's perspective. It is educational, but is not at all "scary". Here is a summary as taken from the Cancer Connected website where the book can also be found:
"Moxie, a blue racoon, lives up to her name in this story about facing difficulty with spirit and courage. She also sees this in her friends, Kelly and Jon, who are learning how to do the same through the bond of having a parent with cancer. There’s also a journal within the book that was “written” by Jon when he found out his mother had cancer. His insights and examples provide an easier way to explain cancer, as written from a childs point-of-view."
The printed book has finally come to fruition and is available for purchase at the Kids Konnected site and at the Cancer Connected site, with $5 dollars of every book purchased going to the Kids Konnected organization.
Here are a couple pages from the book:
In other news, on Saturday I headed south for a "schmooze session" with my O.C. Illustrator buddies at the studio of (soon-to-be famous) Marilyn Scott-Waters. It's always fun to get out of the house and hang out with fellow illustrators--I always leave feeling inspired and ready to paint! Everyone in the group is at a different level in their career and it's fun to hear about the exciting projects that everyone is working on.
After our schmooze, we took a field trip to the *AWESOME* bookshoppe A Whale of a Tale. I had never been there before, but had heard lots of good things about it. Everything I heard about it was true--it's a cozy shop with tons of really cool kids books and a friendly and very knowledgeable staff. They also have a really cool bunch of authors and illustrators come through to speak and sign books, which is always a fun thing to experience. Saturday, one of my all-time favorite illustrators, David Shannon was there! He did a great presentation for the packed house of young 'uns and I even got to meet him (even if just for a minute) while he signed three books for my little one. I decided a year or so ago that I would start a signed book collection for Wind Up Toy and now his collection is up to about thirty signed books. He's a bit too young to handle them on his own now, but hopefully he'll appreciate them when he's a bit older!
Also, check out the lovely illustrator, Yuyi Morales' blog and Senor Calavera's new website for some really cool stuff!