Monday, August 15, 2011

"Abe's Lucky Day" - Kid's Book Review...& Author Interview

Abe's Lucky Day
by Jill Warren
"Abe is a homeless man who at night sleeps all alone in the alley behind a bakery in a large noisy city. He has few possessions and no comforts, and winter is on its way. In fact, it seems he has nothing at all to offer another human being.  What he does have, however, is a selfless nature and a propensity for kindness to others, even those he perceives as needier than he. On what turns out to be Abe's lucky day, an event occurs that changes his life forever and teaches young listeners and readers that there is a power in giving to others which transcends the material and creates a kind of "luck" for all. Abe's Lucky Day is a tale well timed for this era when so many are finding it increasingly hard to keep up with their growing expenses and their shrinking incomes. Oddly, despite these widespread economic difficulties, our society still largely defines success in terms of wealth, possessions and status.  Warren's tale about Abe provides a refreshing look for today's children at the greater values of life. The book's valuable message is that, while these tough economic times prompt everyone to hold on all the tighter to what they have, there is more truth in giving what we can to those who have less -- just as the remarkable, homeless Abe does.  By doing that, Warren suggests, we may all have more lucky days."

I read this book to my kids and they can't stop asking me to read it to them.  My Lovebug liked it the most, though (she's 7, so I think she understands the concept a little more than my 5-year-old son...) and whenever someone comes over, she wants to read it to them!  I was approached by Jill, through Bostick Communications, to review this children's book and I'm happy I said YES : )  This book had a wonderful message about sharing luck with others...or as my Lovebug described it - "Abe is sharing, Mommy.  'Cause sharing is caring!"

This is the first time I have had an author give me her thoughts on her story.  Here is the little email interview exchange we had : )

What made you start writing children's books?
I believe that writing books for children was a natural progression for me. I read quite alot as a child because I was shy and it helped me 'hide' from other kids. I began by writing poetry and short stories in high school. I didn't have the urge to write children's books until about 5 years ago. I was raising a child who loved books, and working with children with whom I shared books as well. At first, it was very difficult, but I did enjoy it and decided to keep trying. Then about 3 years ago, I was watching a movie on television, and I was so moved by it that I had this overwhelming urge to write a story that became 'Abe's Lucky Day'. All of the other children's stories that I have written began the same way - I get a little itch in the back of my mind, or someone says something that intrigues me, or an item in the news captures my imagination. Then I have to write the story and it goes fairly quickly from there.

Abe is homeless - what made you pick him?
I wrote about the character of "Abe' because I have always had an interest in people that were different than the people I saw every day. I'm interested in how individuals become the people they are, how they grow and change with their circumstances, and who they are aside from the person we see on the outside.

My daughter said after reading the book "Sharing is Caring" that the message you wanted kids to get from the book?
I think is so sweet that your daughter said "sharing is caring" , because that is exactly what I want children to get from this story. When my son was young, he wasn't interested in books about super heroes or the collectible trading cards that the other kids were in to. He wanted something more, and enjoyed books that made him ask questions and think about things he had never thought about before.

What is your next project?
My next project is entitled 'Bizzy Bee and the Flowers'. I am currently working with my illustrator on the pictures. It is a story about a bumblebee as he goes out into the world for the first time. Through the characters he meets, he learns about individual differences, perseverence and his role in the scheme of things. I expect to publish it early next year.

When you aren't writing or working with autistic children, what do you do for fun or to relax?
When I'm not at work, I enjoy spending time with my son, cooking, doing crossword puzzles, and visiting with friends.

What something interesting/odd/funny/quirky about you?
As for something quirky about me...that's a tough one! I am a pretty ordinary person really. I do have a fascination with the Discovery channel, though. I love ANYTHING about psychology or documentaries about current topics, different cultures, things outside of my own experience.
Thanks so much, Jill, for coming by the "Cover to Cover" neighborhood! 
You're welcome anytime to stop by and chat!
~ Nay ~
About the author:
Jill Warren has a B.A. in Psychology and much experience reading books to children. Reading children's stories over the years to preschoolers and to a son of her own inspired her to write books for children which they and their parents can share and talk about over and over. Ms. Warren currently works with autistic children and resides in central New York.

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