On June 11th, I visited my old stomping grounds. It was quite an experience, recalling 30 years ago in that same school, declaring that I was going to be an author someday. I read the books to the K through 3rd grade students, with some help of little volunteer “page-turners” who helped their fellow students see the illustrations. We talked about chasing dreams, summer reading, and the meaning behind the rhymes. We also had a Q&A which brought up a lot of great (and some very entertaining) questions! The kids each left with a bookmark that they agreed to use over the summer, and each teacher received a Mama Kangaroo books for their classroom. I had an amazing time with the students and I’m so glad they enjoyed it as well!
Lately we’ve had some incredible events, such as the Wilkes-Barre Fine Arts Fiesta, in which Mama Kangaroo read and interacted with attendees in the Children’s Performance Tent. Over the 4 day event, we had the chance to talk with many kids, sign books, make new friends, and learn a lot! It was definitely special being part of a longtime event in the town I grew up. The Kangaroo Kids had a blast as well!
Yesterday, I sat in my room with Joey, now 6 years old. He was talking about his ideas for Mama Kangaroo. I pointed out to him, “We were sitting right there, rocking you to sleep, when I first came up with the idea to write the rhymes!”
He smiled and looked at the corner of the room, his little forehead wrinkling like it always does when he is thinking.
“Yep, I was rocking you and singing lullabies and nursery rhymes, and then I looked down at you and thought about how much nicer they could be…”
Joey jumped up, excitedly.
“Mommy!! It’s JUST LIKE THE POEM! It’s what happened and then you wrote a rhyme about it. That’s so cool!
So… I think he’s starting to really understand what Mommy does. 😊
“Why Nursery Rhymes?”
Someone asked me this the other day, “Why Nursery Rhymes? If you write all types of stuff, what makes your primary focus nursery rhymes?”
So it got me thinking, “Why?” and I immediately flashed back to that day when I decided that I would become an author someday. My little 8-year-old self, so carefree, limitless, curious, and excited over everything the world had in store. That little girl had such a spark, a spark that all children should have. She radiated optimism and light. Everything was poetry and songs and just letting the world know that there is GOOD in it. She was so happy in the moment.
I believe all young children deserve that joy. Whether it be caused by laughter, a bonding moment with a parent, time shared with friends, something new learned…. and I realized that I can help bring children joy by means of poems and songs and rhymes. Apparently my 8-year-old self was on to something.
As I created each of the Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times I began to see this amazing bridge being built, a bridge that connects tradition and today.
I do believe in the beauty of tradition – the stories, and rhymes, and songs shared down through the generations. The memories of grandparents reciting the words and singing the tunes we grew to know so well over the years (even though we may not have understood them at all, and oftentimes still don’t!) But they take us back in our mind to a simpler time. A place that may give us peace and comfort.
I also do believe in the beauty of today – the amazing strides we have taken as a human race. How far we have come in the past 200-300 years since many original nursery rhymes were created. How fortunate we are to be in the here and now.
And this is why I feel that bringing those two worlds together is such a beautiful thing. Holding tight to tradition while at the same time opening our arms to something new.
I’m so happy to build that “bridge” for today’s children.
I want it to evoke joy in the hearts and minds of children and adults as they experience this bridge. The bridge is the journey.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing all types of genres and for all ages. But right now, this is what I’m most passionate about. Making children smile, one rhyme at a time! And that is “why”. <3
The first actual Mama Kangaroo promotional event was a success! I had my own author’s booth at our town’s new festival. The first signs were made and my dad and I created a life-sized Mama Kangaroo out of wood! The event was a fantastic first step in the world of signing/promoting! My little “kangaroos” handed out logo stickers to the local kids, and it was so much fun talking about the books with everyone. The interest was flattering at times. People who were hearing of “Mama” for the first time purchased books. The kids all loved the stickers. I was asked if we sell Mama Kangaroo t-shirts! (Not yet, but in due time!) Our local Police even sported their Mama Kangaroo stickers and smiled for a photo! It was an eye-opening experience of things yet to come!
One of the most exciting parts of the day… the manager of a nearby Hallmark asked me to do book signings at Hallmark stores! Hallmark! How awesome is that!? I’ve always loved Hallmark stores so this is not only a milestone but a dream come true. We’re planning for August or so, exact dates yet to be determined!
There are some more promotional events in the works. All local so far, but hopefully in the future we’ll be traveling around to include even more kids and families on the Mama Kangaroo journey!
More updates coming soon! Thank you again everyone for your support! 😊
I just want to thank all of you who have contributed to the journey so far!
I feel very strongly about calling it a “journey” because I believe that is the best way to describe this. I’m not even certain what would be considered the “destination”. Ten books? Twenty? I truly do not think there is a limit, therefore there is no actual final destination. This journey is about every endeavor involved in making this happen… every milestone, setback, learning experience, and smile. Finding your “path” is groundbreaking in itself. From that moment on, you begin to control your own destiny in ways more powerful than you’re used to. It’s intimidating, I’m not going to lie. It’s easy to have dreams. It’s a different story to finally follow them. And chasing them, and grabbing them, well… this is brand new ground I’ve never covered until now. And it’s overwhelming, in the most beautiful and best way possible. (Again, much like being a Mama!)
That is why all your support is so very much appreciated. To everyone who has Liked the facebook page, shared with friends, visited the website, mentioned the book to others, and especially purchased a book, you have my gratitude! I have made a commitment that I AM going to make children smile. I’m going to show them that it’s possible to grasp the stars within their hands. I believe in them. All I ask is that you continue to believe in me. And continue to support this endeavor, this awesomely amazing journey!
First off, welcome to the world of Mama Kangaroo!
I’m so happy about the website launch, and even more so about all the positive feedback I’ve received from the new nursery rhymes so far! This is just the beginning of an amazing journey and I’m so happy to share it with you all!
Just like any dream/endeavor/journey this one has already brought me laughter, tears, joy, stress… it’s been an up and down roller coaster. Yet, so incredibly worth it! Hmmm… sounds just like motherhood!! 😉
I can’t put to words how glad I am that I pushed forward with this. Those first few re-imagined nursery rhymes sat in my files for a while, since my son Joey was a baby. Then two children later, something sparked. I realized it was time. Time to put a smile on the faces of not only my own children, but children everywhere! Since that moment (it honestly was a moment, I suddenly decided to give it my all and never look back) the gears have been turning. New nursery rhymes, story plots and life lessons, merchandise ideas, character development… and every new idea inspires me to reach further and higher.
I love writing things that others will enjoy. Also, I absolutely love kids. So, what better than writing nursery rhymes and stories for kids to enjoy? I decided to start with nursery rhymes since they are (in my opinion, and many others’ opinion I’ve been told) very much in need of modernizing. There’s enough negativity and scariness in the world. Nursery rhymes that we read to our children should be happy, fun, convey feelings of love, security and acceptance. Not to mention they should make sense! Reading should be a bonding moment between adults and children. Also, reciting nursery rhymes is a great bonding moment between kids. I love overhearing my 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son randomly reciting the Mama Kangaroo rhymes together as they play.
There’s so much yet to come for Mama Kangaroo. I can’t wait to brighten the lives of so many little ones. We are off to a great start!
Don’t just follow your dreams, CHASE THEM!!