Kid Lit: ‘Griffin’s First Day of School’
Baltimore, MD — March 26, 2021
Our publishing house would like to welcome a new addition to our catalogue. Cheers to Griffin’s First Day of School by Jason Ruby, with illustrations by Tony Lopez.
This 48-page paperback is the first book in our new imprint, Future Publishing House Kid Lit.
Griffin’s First Day of School has a release date of May 15, 2021.
Preorders for this title are being accepted at the time of this writing. Click to order Griffin’s First Day of School.
Writing a children’s book is one of the most difficult journeys that I have ever attempted. After witnessing the trouble behind writing a good children’s book, I feel more equipped to spot a true contender. This is why I recommend looking at our new children’s book by Baltimore author Jason Ruby.
Before publishing my first novel, a science fiction tale for mature readers, I actually attempted to write a children’s book of my own. In fact, I attempted to write one for each day of the month of January.
The project involved one writer and one illustrator, similar to the team behind Griffin’s First Day of School. However, our project lacked the soulful discoveries found within the first title of our new imprint: Future Publishing House Kid Lit.
Years before I met the author of Griffin’s First Day of School, I was working on “manufacturing” an entire series of children’s books in one month’s time.
For the manufacturing process, I came up with a concept of writing one children’s book for each day of the month. And there were a bunch of complicated specifics that I won’t get into here.
After pouring my heart and soul into three books for adults, I decided that it was my duty to write something enjoyable and educational for young readers. Further, I thought it would be a simple task to come up with cute stories, and to fill the pages with fluffy limericks.
Within one week, I would realize that manufacturing children’s books like a robot is a terrible idea. Ultimately, the project was doomed for failure.
What Makes a Children’s Book?
It’s safe to say that I undervalued the time and energy required to write a “good” children’s book.
In order to accomplish the task, one must imagine the world from the perspective of a child, and I was an adult with little experience being around children. Apart from a few young family members, a niece and a nephew, I had nothing to draw from for the creation of my work.
The first few books were easy to write. I enjoy writing poetry, so I relied upon rhyme and rhythm to make the text interesting, at least for an adult, to read. After the first week, I relied upon my own list of story ideas for each children’s book, and I had developed a routine for researching educational topics.
I found myself trying to cram themes and terminology into material that was supposed to be enjoyed by children in primary school. It was a dense compilation of fluffy words and interesting facts.
My children’s book manufacturing project was a disaster, and the illustrator could feel my anxiety about the project. He kept his illustrations to himself, but I kept writing to finish out the month. I didn’t want to quit because I felt that I could learn something from the process. I don’t know if I will ever get back to those little fractured stories, but I do know I learned a valuable lesson.
Writing a children’s book is NOT as easy as reading a children’s book.
Why Griffin’s First Day of School Is Extraordinary
Griffin’s First Day of School is a story about mythological creatures, and the author researched dozens of creatures in order to create his story.
The Bestiary at the end of this book includes illustrations and a description for each mythological creature.
This book is something out of the ordinary. Books of this type are difficult to find.
As indicated by Jason Ruby in the front matter of his book, there aren’t many books on this subject available to young readers.
Children who are interested in mythology must wait until they are old enough to read small type on their own, or they must beg an adult to find more information about a particular mythological creature. There are, of course, books for young adults on this subject, but a picture book about mythological creatures in school is a new concept.
For the manufacturing project I wrote about earlier, the illustrator and I underestimated the matter of creating a compelling piece of literature to suit the needs of young readers and the needs of their parents.
We are lucky enough to find a writer with a new story to tell.
Illustrations and Life Lessons
In addition to a story with lessons and exciting twists, the illustrations in Jason Ruby’s new book Griffin’s First Day of School are enjoyable for all ages of readers, including parents who must endure reading and re-reading their child’s favorite books.
The material acts as a guide for teaching life lessons to children. For example, one of the major lessons in this book involves being kind to others.
The value of kindness appears in the illustrations and in the story throughout Jason Ruby’s Griffin’s First Day of School.
One of my favorite examples of this value occurs during one of the classes that the main character is taking at school.
The main character finds himself in a difficult situation, where he is being made fun of for not doing well in his coursework. When the bully has difficulty accomplishing the same task, the main character does not falter to the same rude behavior.
Of course, this is in the context of a school for mythological beings, so you can imagine the situation is much more entertaining!
These life lessons are important for children to realize, but kids don’t always feel like paying attention to adults. This is why the fable is one of the oldest classifications of literature that is still alive today, dating back to Aesop in the year 620 BCE.
A Book for the Hearts and Minds of Children
In order to write a children’s book that discusses life lessons without making the story too complicated for young readers, it takes an imaginative, empathetic writer. Looking back on my experience in writing children’s books, the ideas were there, but I wasn’t able to translate them for the hearts and minds of a child.
Jason Ruby is a father of a young child, and he enjoys being there as a stay-at-home-dad. He and his wife take time to read to their son, whose name happens to be Griffin. Of course, it’s no coincidence because Jason was inspired to write the book for his son.
Jason is also a high school track and field coach. He graduated from Villa Julie (now Stevenson University) with a degree in Visual Communication Design.
He’s a new writer, but he’s enthusiastic about sharing his story, and he is considering continuing the subject matter of his first book in order to write a series of children’s books.
Ultimately, Griffin’s First Day of School is a gift, from parent to child. We, at Future Publishing House, are proud to provide a platform for this author to share his story.
The world is lucky to have a chance to listen to this new story being told, about the young griffin who has courage to make it through what seems like a scary experience. We hope to see more from Jason Ruby, and we’re excited to see where his story will take us.
Managing Editor, Future Publishing House