Children's Books

About this book

After grandma passed in October of 2019, I wrote a poem that would become this children's book. Even though she is my wife's grandmother, I thought of her as my own by virtue of not having one and having been gifted one by God. I wrote the poem for my children to remember her the way I did, but I had no way of illustrating it. So it sat on my computer shelves for a few months.

Just two months later, one of my students gave me a Christmas card, but I misplaced the card and went on vacation; then covid hit two months later and I was sent home.

When I was allowed to return to pick up my things from my classroom, I found that Christmas card, hiding under some chocolate and paperclips. My student's brother (Joshua) had also been my student about 4 or 5 years prior (a fact I had seemingly forgotten). When I saw the card, I knew immediately what to do.

Later that day, we spoke for four hours about the project idea and the details it entailed. After I got off the phone, I was certain God had answered my quiet prayers that I would find someone who wanted to create this book as much as I wanted to.

That conversation happened before school let out for Summer. For the next 3 months, we would zoom, text, and talk about all the possibilities with this book. We planned the illustrations, the location of the text, made revisions to the text, and even made the English version (since the book was originally only in Spanish).

Here are some of the sketches that came out of those conversations

By the end of the year (2020), we had the page design completed, the coloring done, as well as most other details already in place.

In the process, a few notable things happened: (1) I learned that Josh shares his birthday with grandma (who interestingly also shares her birthday with one of her granddaughters), as his sister shares her middle name with grandma's name (Victoria), (2) through delays and happenstance we happened to publish the book on that same birth date (April 28th), and (3) we each experienced major life events. Josh graduated from college (just days before we published) and my wife and I had our third child. Notwithstanding that we lived through (are living through?) a pandemic.

Original art concept

Original art concept

All in all, this book was meant to be and we are grateful that it happened. While I am thankful to Mercedes Benitez (affectionately known to us as Tata) for being my sounding board, and Josh is thankful to his parents and his sister, we are both thankful to God for helping us realize this desire.

When mom and dad go to work, grandma comes to spend the day. But playing with tiny grandkids can be a bear sometimes. Especially when you spend the day inside. But every grandma knows that a little imagination and a partner in crime are the bear necessities for an unforgettable day.

Cuando mamá y papá van al trabajo, abuela viene a pasar el día. Jugar con nietecitos curiOSOS puede ser un dilema si solo juegan dentro de la casa, pero con la imaginación y picardía de la abuela el día se convierte en inolvidable.

Check out our book versions on Amazon.

Judge, 2021 Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Below is a brief commentary for the entry in the 2021 Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

"The illustration and layout inside the book are fantastic, [with] a wonderful sketchbook style to the illustrations inside."

"This book is exemplary in its voice and writing style. It has a unique voice, and the writing style is consistent throughout. The story has a charming and simple plot that is relatable, and tells a great story with expertly integrated illustrations that have a great style to them that I found charming and comforting. This is a happy book, and readers will love revisiting the structure and pattern of the days with grandma."

"The style of the illustrations feels somewhat vintage in tone, and it works so well with the tone of the story and the events and activities in the day spent with grandma..."