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I am seeking representation for my tear-provoking, children’s picture book Soldier’s Child, a lyrical, fully-illustrated story that gently draws the reader into the mind of an emotionally-conflicted, young girl. Her father is in the military and away from home, and she’s struggling to come to terms with his absence, remembering all the things they used to do together. Towards the end of the story, the young girl receives a letter from her dad, telling her about another little girl he met — an experience so touching, the girl finally begins to accept her father’s extended absence.
I faced this very same problem with my own daughter when her Airforce enlisted father was stationed overseas. No matter how hard I tried to explain it, she could not grasp why he was gone. I realized that other parents were in this very same situation, so I sat down and began to draft Soldier’s Child.
In the year 2014, there were 2,150,651 military personnel and approx. 2,875,977 family members (http://download.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Reports/2014-Demographics-Report.pdf pg. 119). In the year 2017, the US Government has projected the total number of enlisted military personnel to reach 2,651,000 (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/end-strength.htm). However, the number of military family members will be well over 3,000,000.
More than three million people will struggle with the question of “Why”? The current books and materials available on the market, which the DoD regularly purchases, leave families uninspired and struggling to answer their children’s questions in a relatable way.
The story Soldier’s Child was created to fill a void that so desperately needed filling. It’s been approved by DAVID L STAMPER – Mobilization, Deployment & Stability Support Program Manager with the 101st Airborne Elite at Fort Bragg, whole-heartedly approved by every military family who’ve had the chance to preview it, unanimously approved by the R-2 unit crew of Reservists (with a letter of recommendation from the First Sargent), approved by Veterans, AND finds appeal with non-military adults and children who can sympathize with the little girl’s sadness at her father’s absence (based on classrooms readings and reports).
The story Soldier’s Child was created to fill a void that so desperately needed filling.
What Military Officials are saying about Soldier’s Child:
“Your book is very sweet and has a good message.” — DAVID L STAMPER: Mobilization, Deployment & Stability Support Program Manager Army Community Service, 101st Airborne Div.
“Soldier’s Child offers a relevant story for children ages 6 to 12 with a fresh, realistic perspective towards deployments in the world today. . . I personally and professionally recommend this book for publication and feel it has great potential to provide emotional support for parents and children alike.” — Staff Sargent Dyer, R-2 Crew Unit, Greenville, MI
What Teachers and students (Kindergarten and First Grade) have to say about Soldier’s Child after classroom readings:
“The beginning was good. Thought it gave the students a good understanding of how the girl felt. . . the students didn’t say anything about the illustrations. I thought, as a teacher, that the illustrations- some of them- were great. Others I felt didn’t grab my attention. I really liked the close up of the soldier’s dusty hand. I think that they (the students) felt the sadness that the little girl had when her dad was away.”
First Grade reading:
“The children seemed very engaged right from the start of the book. The illustrations were perfect for the story. They really helped the children understand that this is a real life issue. They like the rhyme of the story and the pictures. What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it with my class!”
*** Illustrations were subsequently re-done after these readings took place.
New illustrated photos created by master photo retoucher Suzanne Cook: