Jul 19, 201208:39 AMDaily News
Breaking news, practical tips, useless trivia, media reviews and more
Lancaster mother co-authors children’s book
Of all the things Katie Eshleman had on her to-do list, writing a children’s book wasn’t one of them. But thanks to a parenting question raised by her sister, the Lancaster mother of three daughters is listed as co-author of a book on Amazon.com.
When Eshleman’s sister, Elizabeth Arnold, called to find a secret to getting her son to give up his pacifier, the two were inspired to add a new challenge to their busy lives—they would write a story to help encourage kids to give up their binkys.
The two met with their childhood friend, Danielle Stanley, and in no time at all, Perry Passyflyer was born.
With Eshleman living in Quarryville and Arnold and Stanley living in their native New Jersey, it was a long-distance collaboration. “I went home to New Jersey and we sat down and had pizza and just fleshed it out from beginning to end,” Eshleman said. “Between the three of us over a couple of nights, we had Perry Passyflyer."
The mothers decided “Perry” would be an airplane and the story would have a rhyming structure.
Although working with a group on a creative project can often be challenging, it was a breeze for these longtime friends. “If you can imagine three friends who don’t get to see each other that often sitting down together and working on a project that we’d been looking forward to … it was so much fun,” Eshleman said. “We laughed a lot, but it came together very, very easily. It was a ton of fun.”
None of them had any experience in creative writing or children’s writing. Eshleman, a music therapist, has written and produced two children CDs to enhance language development in young children, but that is the extent of her writing experience. She used her knowledge to incorporate the rhyming scheme. “Coming from the background of music therapy, I thought about putting music and language together,” Eshleman said. “When children are learning language, they’ll actually fill in the phrase endings first. Not only would they follow along with the story, but eventually they’d be able to fill in the blanks. It becomes predictable.” The rhyme scheme will get kids more involved when reading it or listening to it, Eshleman said.
The story became an easy-to-read, 24-page book that details the journey of pacifiers finding their way to distant lands and newborns with the help of a new friend.
Eshleman, Arnold and Stanley wrote the story and found a publisher which led them to their illustrator, Brandon Coleman. The writers were amazed at Coleman’s work.
“The first time I saw the print copy of the illustrations, it just brought Perry Passyflyer to life,” Eshleman said. “The illustrations add so much to the story. We were able to tell (Coleman) for each page what was in our minds. He went above and beyond our expectations.”
With giving up pacifiers in the past, the mothers are ready to work on the next challenge parents will likely face: potty training.
Eshleman, Arnold and Stanley are planning to continue writing as they tackle this new challenge and others that come up along the way. “Our hope is to be able to tackle some of the transitions of early childhood and approach them with humor and heart,” Eshleman said. “Being moms ourselves, we can understand how challenging relinquishing the binker, or potty training, can be. We’re helping parents find the humor in these transitions, and helping children find a sense of mastery of what’s going on in their environment.”
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web for Central Penn Parent.