grown-ups can remember what it is like to be a child, for whom simple things can bring great joy.
SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. (PRWEB) October 31, 2007
The idea for the book took root when author Ronald L. Leonard met his youngest grandchild Caroline the day after she was born in 2000. Watching a nurse pound the infant's back to clear her lungs, his heart went out to the baby. Ron recalls, "I asked myself, "Caroline, Caroline, what are you thinking? Is she thinking 'Hey, I just got here! If this keeps up, I'm going back!'"
Thus began a seven-year intrigue. The author continued to imagine Caroline's thoughts as she experienced her world. Soon, he committed his thoughts to pen and ink. Before long, he had 70 poems. Now, he's presenting 11 of them in an exquisite new 36-page book, published by Lionheart Press, and beautifully illustrated by Don Berry, who has designed and illustrated dozens of books published in the United States and abroad.
Although Caroline is a figure in every poem, the book's real subject is childhood. "Grandparents see that children live in a world of wonder where everything is new," explains Leonard. "For example, climbing up the stairs is something we adults take for granted, but it's a challenge for a young child. It becomes a big accomplishment when you do it for the first time."
Leonard compiled his new children's book so "grown-ups can remember what it is like to be a child, for whom simple things can bring great joy." For grandparents, reading the poems will be a way to enjoy their own grandchildren, as the language and situations evoke one's own memories and feelings. Grandparents can also share the book with their grandchildren, encouraging the youngsters to talk about their experiences.
The book's illustrations clearly capture the Caroline's inquisitive nature. "It's truly a little gem," says one grandfather, Liam Clancy, of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, and a long-time friend of Ron's. "The illustrations are just beautiful. They really bring the poems to life."
The irrepressible Caroline, who lives with her parents in Niskayuna, NY, is an endless source of inspiration for her grandparents. "There is always something to write about, some adventure or misadventure, some humorous observation," Leonard says.
So what is Caroline thinking?
(Parents and grandparents) think I say "Rabbit"
They think I say "Horse"
But it's only their imagination
On her new tent:
My Uncle "Boo-Boo
Gave me a tent
For "The Great Outdoors"
Or so the story went
He might think I should pitch it
Under the sky
But...it's "The Great Indoors For Me!"
That's my Battle-Cry!
A resident of Tarrytown, NY, Niskayuna, NY, and Lake Luzerne, NY, Leonard has five children and four other grandchildren. He says that the responsibilities of parenthood and his busy career as a bank executive left him insufficient time to fully enjoy his children when they were growing up. "Caroline opened the 'door' to childhood for me, he says. "I want the book to open the door to childhood for everyone who reads it."
"Caroline, Caroline, What Are You Thinking?" is available in softcover for $13.95 through http://www.carolinebooks.com. The public is invited to meet the author at one of a series of upcoming readings to be held this fall. The readings also will be listed on the Web site.
About the author
Ron Leonard is a semi-retired business executive and former banker. "The Arts" have always been a hobby of his. He has been writing poetry and songs for over 40 years. This is his first book.
About the illustrator
Don Berry has taught illustration, graphic design, drawing, and cartooning at the University of Arizona, where he received his Bachelors in Fine Arts degree, and Pima Community College. He lives in Tucson, AZ.