We are 2 weeks from Thanksgiving and our world is totally upside down –
~ Election Day has come and gone with no President Elect to show for it. ~Halloween: kids were told “avoid Trick or Treating” like it was a puddle they could step around. ~Thanksgiving without traveling miles to gather with friends and family seems hollow and pointless.
In the midst of this craziness, and maybe in spite of it, I have written another children’s book. Young children have been remarkably resilient throughout this pandemic. They seem to take the mask wearing and the social distancing in stride – and find paths to happiness around it. So, taking their cue, I have found joy in writing a new kids book. Spun from a story I told at the insistence of my eldest granddaughter, I fabricated another magical fairytale.
Sharing the written story with my grandchildren, watching their reactions, and listening to their critiques and comments generated more joy.
I found an illustrator, Stephen Trumble, and enlisted his amazing talent to turn my vision and story into a two dimensional character. A few video chats and Steve came up with something brilliant, that together we fashioned into a few main characters, a pleasing palette of colors and a fairytale backdrop with all kinds of interesting details. My grandchildren were enthralled. I revised and edited my story as I told it to the children. They poured over the pictures, observing the progression as my words were honed and the pictures went from broad brush concept to fine line detail. By the last viewing/reading, the 5-year-old was satisfied that she knew everything about the story and the illustrations and that all of her questions as to how a book is created were answered to her satisfaction. The 3-year-old sat, pouring over the pictures, telling and retelling the story. It was an amazing experience to share my creation with them. They enriched the process with their curiosity and awe, until ‘my cup runneth over’ with happiness.
We don’t need a big feast for Thanksgiving. We just need to use every means available to count our blessings and share joy with all of the wonderful people in our lives. Even if it is only virtual hugs, it still spreads the love
© Jane F. Collen November 6, 2020
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