Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Write a Children's Book

The Oma Storybook Collection is one of my hobbies.

I'm writing our family history as a children's book, with stories about Dee and I growing up, how we met, and anecdotes about our parents and grandparents. At the same time, I'm assembling materials and doing research for a children's book on our family in England from the Battle of Hastings until they came to America in 1630. It's an exciting and overwhelming project that I've been working on for the past few years.

But the grandkids aren't waiting! I want them to grow up knowing these stories and since they're growing up faster than I'd anticipated, I print out each chapter as I finish writing it, put a spiral binding on it, and send it off to them. Eventually they'll get the chapters all compiled and beautifully bound together in one book, but this way they can learn our history step-by-step as I go along. Seeing their excitement is my motivation to keep typing and make this a reality.

My biggest challenge has been how to illustrate my books without plagarizing other people's art work. I need to get away from scanning and learn how to create my own, so I'm trying out different ideas with each chapter I print for the kids. I just finished Dee and the Giselas, a story about Dee as a little boy, and this time I staged some photo-shoots using the grands as the main characters. It was so fun to have them learn about Opa as they acted out his story for the camera. Then I collaged them together (since the kids live in five different states!) I just have to share some excerpts:

Gordon B. Hinckley said our own family stories are worth telling and re-telling.
Have you recorded yours?

(I'm doing an Oma's Write Stuff Workshop in the woods this week,
so I decided to repeat myself in this post from 2009.)


Diane said...

I think it is pure genius to use your grandchildren in the photo illustrations. It will truly forge a link between generations.

Chiska said...

I've wanted to do something like this...I love the idea of using the kids to illustrate the story!

VickiC said...

How very wonderful! This is such a super idea. I often look at my grandkids' behavior and personalities and share with them how they are similar to their ancestors. Good reminder for me, as well, to acknowledge that behaviors that drive me nuts have their place. (My 7th ggfather was the youngest participant in the Boston Tea Party. Imagine he was a rowdy kid.--That's what we'll write about!)

I especially loved the story of Dee's apology to Gisela. Several years ago I, too, tracked down someone to whom I had been unkind. I mailed my apology. Didn't have the courage to phone.