A dolphin family adopts an orphaned baby whale. Harrison excels at playing Capture the Flag and blows impressive curtains of bubbles. All is well until he notices that his fins are a different shape, and his skin is bumpy while the others’ skin is smooth. Perhaps he doesn’t belong after all . . . .
In the white space between this paragraph and the last one, you’ve no doubt guessed that Harrison’s mom and dad set him straight. But I doubt that you’ve guessed HOW author/illustrator Sharon Dallaire uses a universal symbol of love to make her point. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like this simple but powerful illustration.
All the proceeds from the sale of A Heart for Harrison go to support an orphanage in Haiti, which brings me to a question—why do authors of children’s books write the stories we do?
I can think of a few reasons: we love children, we love stories, we want to entertain, we have values and faith to pass on, and we need to make a living.
I love to entertain children, and I want to make a living. After I read A Heart for Harrison to the kindergartners at Sunday School, I gave them a sneak preview/live book trailer of my own book, Scissortown. They enjoyed, as most children do, my demonstration of Tommy’s mom breaking off pieces of gooey birthday cake (all the knives had been buried). They were intrigued that the nefarious Slicers and Dicers had put the children’s pictures in a blender—and happy to hear that I’m to return another day and read that story.
But most of all, I’m a fan of “lesson stories,” as my granddaughter Tina calls them. I want the good guys to win, and to do so by making good choices.
My overarching reason for writing is to share my faith in Christ and my values.
How about you? If you had to choose one reason above the rest, what would it be?