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The Story Behind the Stories

October 26, 2018
In a time when right actions are often hard to find, my passion is helping parents and teachers nurture a sense of right and wrong in their children and to help them understand how their actions make a difference in the world. That’s why I’ve written and designed this series of modern fables. I loved to read picture books to my kids before bedtime when they were little. We also loved to take walks in forest preserves on Sunday afternoons; to get away from it all and explore nature and the great outdoors. The concept for the first story Chocolate Story comes from a tale we cooked up one fall afternoon while walking among the trees. One day my daughter Emily wrote the story down on paper and submitted it to her elementary school teacher as a writing project. You can see her cover drawing for the paper above (“Original”). I loved to save my kids’ school work and several years later came across her paper in a file drawer. After re-reading it, I decided to write up a manuscript for it. After sharing it with a few teacher friends, asking them for feedback, and testing different endings in a classroom reading, I decided to publish Chocolate Story and share it with the world. After that, the question was always “When’s the next one coming out?” Seeing the stories come to life while working with the illustrator is awesome! Seeing the first printed and bound copies is another leap forward and makes them “real”. And, the first story time is amazing; watching the children's faces as the story is read and the illustrations are revealed; hearing them laugh, and then listening to their answers during the discussion questions. The stuff they come up with is incredible! Lately, we’ve mostly been holding “reader’s theater” readings, where teachers read and act out the parts of the characters and I serve as narrator. Great fun! Teachers keep inviting me back, which a good sign. I hope you will enjoy these stories as much as I enjoy creating them, and that they will make a difference in your children. And, I encourage you to take the time to read books to your children, because that makes a difference, too.Mine still talk about it, many years later. ~ R.T.


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