My kids have active imaginations. This year we wrote a book we’re calling, “Diem’s Dream,” at least for now. My daughter, Diem (4 years old), is always telling me stories about adventures with her imaginary friends. My son and I love to draw. In the spring we would draw mythical creatures for hours and then write three sentences about our drawings. It was the only way I could get my son to write during remote learning, the teacher’s prompts just didn’t do it for him.
We read lots of books in our house, Harry Potter is where our love of mythical creatures began. One day we decided it might be fun to write a kid’s book about some of our family fun and I would illustrate it. At the time my daughter was obsessed with unicorns and mermaids so we decided those would be her two friends in the book. Then we could go on flying and swimming adventures in our story. We started by listing all the fun things we had done recently like fly kites, swim, and water fights with the neighbors… but then we added the color of children’s imaginations to these adventures. Why not water fights with dragons, fly kites with a unicorn, and swim with sharks?
The book is 18 pages long, but it could have easily of been 100 because we had so much fun thinking up adventures. Who knows maybe there with be a second book that features my son, Merit (7 years old), going on adventures with his own imaginary friends? We referred to some of our favorite books to figure out the cadence of our story.
I did start the illustration process, but it was very time consuming and with constant interruptions from my kids, not as enjoyable as I had hoped. That’s when I turned to FIVERR a website where you can hire all kinds of talent at reasonable rates. I found an illustrator out of India, I liked his work, I messaged him our story and asked for a bid. His price was right, so I hired him. It has been so much fun seeing our story come to life by a professional. He provides line drawings first that I approve. I’ve printed these off to serve as coloring pages for the family, which keeps the kids engaged in the book making process. Then the illustrator adds color to the drawings and I give feedback. This has been an important step since we want the colors to reflect the imagination of a little girl and I want the little girl to resemble my daughter.
We will print off a few copies of our books for friends, family and our kids’ school. I may look into publishing so other kids can enjoy our fun story, but the original purpose was a keepsake for my kids from this crazy year. The book will remind us of fun things we did and the type of things my kids were into this year. When asked why we chose to write a book… I’m like any parent living in a pandemic with two small children, I throw out random ideas of ways to pass the time and when they show interest in something, we try it. I highly recommend writing a book with your kids. It has been a fun way to pass the extra time at home and maybe my kids have learned a thing or two about writing a book. If you want a copy of our book email me at email@example.com.