Friday, December 2, 2011

Children's Books Aren't JUST for Children

Many reading this blog do not know of my background in children's theater. I basically got my start doing theater 'for children by children'. I wrote and directed musicals in high school for a group in Texas. I moved to New York and worked with a local children's theater company in New Jersey (both performing and writing music for their shows). And I even got my equity card touring in a children's show that brought well known children's books to life. I think I've always been a grown-up kid and can still enjoy a well told story geared for the young at heart.    

It's wonderful when you meet someone of a like mind that simply cannot be placed into one genre of writing. Arthur Wooten has been doing that for years: everything from novels to plays and now his first children's book. But this book has a long journey.  

"William was first created as a children's book twenty years ago," Wooten told me. "But Hollywood found it and optioned it both as an animated feature and a television series. When neither paths materialized the project was put away until just recently. Now, I'm determined to give it the life it deserves and in the medium it was first intended."

Lucky for readers that Wooten has dusted it off and brought it back to life!

I often tell him he and I seem to have been on very similar paths in our lives moving to NYC as actors and both writing in multiple genres - only I remind him he's further ahead on the path in both age and volume of published books. (See, I'm a snotty kid at heart!)

I was very honored to be able to see an early copy of his book and I'm thrilled to recommend it to all reading my blog. Wise Bear William: A New Beginning is a beautifully illustrated children's book with an even more appealing message. William's name says it all as he gives sage advice to the other toys in the attic - eagerly awaiting to be 'chosen' by children. This story of patience, understanding, a giving spirit, and friendship may be told for the ears of a child, but Wooten has made it a lesson for all to hear. Taken at face value - it is a children's story that is perfect for people to buy as a holiday gift (and I do recommend to grab them up for those under-the-tree-gifts). But I can't help analyze beyond and see dynamics that can be found in circles of friends of many ages.

Wooten has created a vividly imaginative world of talking toys that transports us to another time and place with the luscious illustrations by Bud Santora. I absolutely love that this man that can deliver novels meant strictly for adult eyes can locate his inner child and craft a world of wonder for all to enjoy. (Classification of writers be gone!)  

I hope this 'new beginning' is the start of a wonderful series of adventures for Wise Bear and his friends. You can get more information on the book at Arthur's website or ordering online at createspace marketplace and will be on Amazon and in stores soon!

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