By Guest Bloggers, Mike & Cathleen McRitchie
Cathleen and Dad Books
Click Here to listen to Cathleen and Mike’s interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday April 20th, 2010 on the WomensRadio Network.
It has certainly been an interesting journey. It’s very exciting that a project like Best Friends that began as just something fun for a Father and Daughter to work on together actually resulted in a published book for parents and their children to enjoy.
The idea came from an observation at the airport. While waiting to pick up my sister and her husband, a young girl, probably 3 or 4 years-old, walked through the terminal with her parents. She was carrying her teddy. It was actually a rabbit but I call all stuffed animals “teddies” in a general sense. I have it on good advice that they do not like to be called stuffed animals, but prefer teddy or critter. She was carrying the rabbit by his ears and his feet were dragging on the ground. The rabbit was pretty roughed up with very matted fur, but it was obvious that the young girl loved him very much. I’ve seen this many times before, of course, as I’m sure many of you have, but for some reason this time I started to think about just what it is about teddies that children love. Is it really just that they are soft and furry and nice to hold, or are they actually a companion?
The book I wrote, Best Friends, is a fun examination of why teddies are important to children.
I shared the initial story with Cathleen, who loves to draw, and I asked her if she would like to do some drawings for it. She was excited and stuck with it even as more drawings were required when the story evolved. Cathleen’s drawings turned out really well and complemented the story terrifically. We even used one of her drawings for the Cathleen and Dad logo.
After sharing the draft story with some friends and receiving positive feedback, I did research on the Internet. I decided on a Print on Demand option to publish the book.
Cathleen (11 years-old)
I mostly used colored pencils for the pictures because they don’t smear and there are a lot of colors to choose from. But even before I started to draw, I needed to read the page and make the picture in my head. Sometimes I needed to do it more than once, but even so I got it done.
I have enjoyed some extra attention at my school as a result of the project. Best Friends is in the school library and has been withdrawn many times. My Principal featured me in the morning announcements to the entire school and conducted a short interview with me. Teachers, parents and students have come up to me and told me how much they enjoyed the book.
Cathleen and Dad
One particular parent bought a signed copy of “Best Friends” for her young daughter. Later, she told us that her daughter liked the book so much that she wouldn’t let go of it for the whole day. In fact, her daughter slept with “Best Friends” that night. When we hear these types of stories, it really makes us smile.