I am so very proud of my friend, Matt - you all know him as my Thursday running buddy and the person who I reconnected with last July. Well, what you didn't know until today is that he is a very talented children's book writer, and his first book was just published!
Last summer, he shared the artwork and story of Birds of a Different Feather with Barbara and me and I have to say that we both loved it. Matt has a wonderful ability to turn words into a lovely rhyming cadence, and when I sat down with Theresa, Barbara's eight-year-old daughter, and read her the story, she was enthralled and even gasped at the ever-so-slightly scary part (it's not that scary, and I don't want to give the story away, but as you can see by the cover, there are birds, and there's a cat...but never fear, no birds were harmed in the telling of this sweet story). I remember asking him where he came up with the idea for this book, and Matt said that there was a huge tree near his children's elementary school, and he used to watch the birds in it. One day he wondered if they all got along...and thus, Birds of a Different Feather was, um, hatched.
I was really honored when Matt asked me for help in writing the official "blurb" that would appear on the back of the book and as the description on websites. It's hard to describe something that is so close to your heart, and I was only too happy to help - in case you can't tell, my enthusiasm for this project is endless! And, although it's anonymous, because Matt liked what I wrote, my blurb is on his book, which means that I'm published, too! I know, leave it to me to horn in on his success, right? OK, here's the blurb In a lilting tale that is fun to read aloud and sure to charm both children and adults, first-time author Matthew Beasley successfully takes on the delicate subject of diversity through the story of a judgmental Mama bird, her guileless Baby bird, and the neighboring birds who turn out to be quite the heroes, despite Mama bird's initial misgivings. From Baby bird's plaintive "I want to play with our neighbors/ Said Baby mama's son/I'm stuck all day in this nest/And I'm the only one" To his Mama's "That's the silliest thing I've ever heard/You can't play with the others/I don't like our neighbor birds/I don't like their mothers," Birds of a Different Feather pulls the reader in with picturesque descriptions of a variety of birds and their unique personalities. With beautiful illustrations by Jennifer Morillo that help to capture the essence of the book, this is a read-aloud story that imparts wisdom through the innocent eyes of a baby bird. Birds of a Different Feather is available for purchase here , and should be on Amazon later this week. It is recommended for children ages 3 - 10.