Samuel and His Brave Spoon

Front Cover of Diane's wonderful children's book: Samuel & His Brave Spoon
Front Cover of Diane’s wonderful children’s book: Samuel & His Brave Spoon

While I am probably best known for my stunning photography, insightful intellect, razor-like wit, charm, and good looks–OK, I made that up, it’s really for being a grumpy old man–today I become known for something else.

I am most pleased to announce that my beautiful, funny, sweet and loving partner Diane has published her first book, Samuel and His Brave Spoon, which this first day of 2019 has become available on Amazon.

So, what has this to do with me? (I did say that “today I become known for something else.”) Well, I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of doing the photography for Samuel and His Brave Spoon, and while photography certainly isn’t new to me–I’ve been at it for over 50 years–the photography in this book is quite a departure from the flower and landscape photos with which I am most associated. Diane, a talented artist and maker of things, created a wonderful series of collage-illustrations for the book from things one finds around the house. This called upon photographic skills I learned as a commercial product photographer in days long past and inventing digital post-processing techniques in PhotoShop.

Part of a scene from the classroom in Samuel and His Brave Spoon. Diane created this collage from things commonly found around the house: the tree from a brown paper bag and green construction paper, the animals from felt, paper and a marker, etc.
Part of a scene from the classroom in Samuel and His Brave Spoon. Diane created this collage from things commonly found around the house: the tree from a brown paper bag and green construction paper, the animals from felt, paper and a marker, etc.

Samuel and His Brave Spoon is a children’s book, but it’s not just a typical book for children. It’s a book about a special child who is quiet, and the book teaches us all about recognizing the gifts of a quiet child mistakenly labeled as shy. It teaches children and adults alike about showing empathy towards others. The collage-illustrations in the book were made from items found in most households, not just to illustrate the book but as examples of art kids can create themselves while providing them an outlet for self-expression and at the same time recycling things that might otherwise become landfill.

I mentioned above that Diane is a talented artist, but I sold her short. She earned a BFA from Syracuse University and a Head Teacher/Early Childhood Education Certification from Charter Oak State College. She also brings to the book her skills as a former Head Start preschool teacher, poet, writer and mother who has raised three wonderful kids to adulthood. Having been a sensitive and quiet child herself Diane understands well the nature and situation of such children as she offers suggestions and guidance to us adults in order to help them as children find meaning and self-confidence through artistic expression.

Diane shows us all how wonderful creativity can be expressed with things found around the house.
Diane shows us all how wonderful creativity can be expressed with things found around the house. Samuel’s teacher is made with macaroni eyebrows, crinkle-shred packing material hair; a paper plate face with rubber band mouth that says “oh!” as it emphasizes the look of surprise found in her hard-boiled egg and green celery eyes; bead and paper clip earrings.

Samuel and His Brave Spoon is geared but not limited to children in the three to six year-old range, their parents and teachers. Diane has made available for free this Parent and Teacher Book Walk on getting the most from Samuel and His Brave Spoon (1.8 Mb download, PDF format). If you are fortunate enough to parent or teach such a child or if you know somebody who does, Samuel and His Brave Spoon incorporates humor while offering guidance and teaching empathy in order to help children find confidence through self-expression.

Paperback available now on Amazon.com.
FREE for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, otherwise it’s $2.99 here. The Kindle version includes pop-up boxes with enlarged text for easy reading on smaller devices, even cell phones.

Connect with Diane at her PizzaBoxBooks FaceBook page.

[Note, 2/5/19: Readers’ Favorite has just posted this 5 star review of Samuel and His Brave Spoon.]

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