This story, I'm Here, was inspired by Matthew, son of my friend, Denise Resnik. He was diagnosed with autism when he was very young, and it has been a challenging journey for him, and for his family too. Denise saw her son being misunderstood and not included with other children. He was low-verbal - so being able to ask to join and be part of the group rarely happened. I wrote a story inspired by Matthew - about a boy who wished to be part of the world around him, but gave signals in creative ways. An enlightened child reached out to him. It is my hope that my book inspires the reader to do the same - to be aware of who needs us and to reach out and be there for them.

Much of my journey has been thinking, drawing and writing about the journey - about how to navigate our true potential despite the challenges. Perhaps a seed was planted when I was a boy of twelve.

I rode my bicycle to the nearby farm who allowed a camp for special needs children to set up during the summer along the river. They were in need of volunteers, and I soon found myself with a group of six children. It only took a day to realize that I could not expect them all to be doing the same activity, at the same time, in the same way. Each was different, with a different challenge. One tiny girl in my group was deaf. I had been talking to her, and I learned she did not hear me. I had to find a different way. Every child deserves this kind of understanding. They flourish when we take the time to connect in whatever way allows a connection to happen. Whether through art, a hug, a nod, sign language, or just a smile - every child needs a connection to another human being. Those connections can make a world of difference to that child.

I'm Here ends with a quote that fits perfectly: "To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

I'm Here
Posted by elena at 05:04 PM Link to this post

We loved this blog by Peter H. Reynolds so much we had to repost it to share with everyone!

Early on in my children's book career, I was out in Greeley, Colorado attending the debut of a musical version of my book, The North Star. A local bookstore invited me to do a book-signing while I was visiting. I ventured to the shop which was located in a mall. I could tell it was a well-loved bookshop with narrow aisles packed to the gills with books. I ventured through the maze looking for someone in charge. I spotted an older woman who looked like she had been working -and perhaps living -in this shop for decades. Her eyebrow went up when she saw me.

"I'm Peter Reynolds. I'm here for the book-signing."

Her eyebrow lowered and her furrowed brow told me that she had no idea who I was or what book I might be signing.  I was fairly new at all this and quite ready to help bring her up to speed. I mentioned a new series I was illustrating called Judy Moody.  I told her about my book The North Star and how a local Greeley music teacher and an accomplished jazz musician, Tim Beckman, had transformed my story into a musical and how I had attended a performance of it at the Union Colony Civic Center.

I was telling her all this as she shuffled down the aisles in search of, I was guessing, copies of my books to sign. She stopped suddenly and picked up a small blue book and swung around. It was a copy of Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater released in 1938.

She pushed it a few inches from my nose for me to get a real good look at it and said, "Now THAT is a good book."


After recovering from my bewildered state, I found the section with my books and signed.

Before leaving, I did one last thing.

I bought a copy of Mr. Popper's Penguins.

On the plane ride home, I read it.

She was right. It WAS a really good book.

Be sure to check out other blogs posted by Peter H. Reynolds at The Stellar Cafe!
Posted by elena at 07:12 AM Link to this post
PIPPIN PROPERTIES, INC.  110 WEST 40th STREET, SUITE 1704, NEW YORK, NY 10018  212 338 9310