7
   

I Need Some Help from Parents

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 11:13 am
I have been approached about possibly writing some children's books based on JJ's life. I have been seriously considering it but I am really stopped by one thing. JJ's story of how he came about isn't really something I would have any clue of how to explain to children. JJ doesn't really have a story without the part about his mom and sister being abused and neglected and his sister coming so close to death.

This is something I think I would like to try to do but unless I can explain that part to children then there is no book. I do not have children. When it comes to what they can handle and cannot, I am totally clueless. Because of that, I do feel rather strange even thinking about writing children's books about JJ.

Would some of you parents mind giving me some advice? Please be very brutal with it. I don't want to do a thing that would upset a child in any way and I think there has to be some way to get JJ's story told to children without upsetting them?
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 11:16 am
@Arella Mae,
What's the part about his sister? I don't remember that.

I think you can keep abuse out of it but say something about how you rescued his mom from people who were not taking care of her, and gave her lots of love and care so that she became healthy again. And make sure you have a lot about how you were sure she was going to give birth any minute for about a year! Smile

Would it be a picture book? Or for older kids? What age range did you have in mind?
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 11:34 am
@sozobe,
JJ's half-sister Lulu, is lucky to be alive. She nearly did not survive she was so emaciated by the time Pam had rescued her.

The idea is a series of picture books about JJ's life and progress for kids. So each one could be about a silly thing JJ did, meeting all the others, just stories about him. I see it as a bit like the Dick and Jane books (sheesh that sounds arrogant but I don't know how to say it) but not quite so basic (not sure that is the right word). I know how to relate to adults the stories about JJ and my other animals but I don't know about kids.

There is just something special about JJ. I have even been told it would be a good way to teach children about how horses and mules first learn things. I can get all kinds of stories from Trainer Dave about taking care of horses, mules, etc., so there is plenty of story to be told.

Look at those of you on A2K, you fell in love with JJ and you haven't even been near him. Being near him is such a joy. You stand there and look at that darling little guy and you can't help but smile. I know I'm biased but I think you get my meaning? I think I would really like to try to do this but the thing is, I enjoy telling the stories about JJ and don't want it to turn into a job. Does that make sense?

I definitely will make sure everyone knew how half the world (LOL) was having to listen to me thinking he was going to come into the world any second.

I'd like it to be a book that kids that have not been reading that long can read as well as kids a bit older came relate to. This all seemed so exciting when I was being approached but then I thought, "I DON'T KNOW NOTHING BOUT KIDS!" and all kinds of questions came in my mind. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

sozobe, I thought I had Lulu's picture on my computer at work. It shows how very thin she was and Pam had already had her for a few weeks. Pam said when she first saw Little Miss Joy and Lulu, Lulu could barely stand and Miss Joy was doing everything she could to keep all the other horses in the pen away from her. Pam cries everytime she talks about it.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 11:43 am
@Arella Mae,
OK, Lulu I know, I hadn't thought of her as Mac's sister for some reason though I guess I knew that.

I think you can say that they were very skinny and needed rescuing, and can even say that Lulu was near death. Then an emphasis on how you saved them.

Would it be photos or drawings/ paintings?

And do you have a sense of the age range, who your audience will be?

I know a few children's book writers/ illustrators and there are definitely parameters -- I'm remembering something about the number of pages but I forget what the number is. As in, there should be a certain structure.

Found it, 32 pages.

Where I found it has a lot of other good advice:

http://www.memfox.net/so-you-want-to-write-a-picture-book.html
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 11:56 am
@sozobe,
I will check it out. Thank you so much. Right now, I am kind of asking myself what makes me think I can do this? But, until I have all the info then I can't make a good decision.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 12:52 pm
I'm trying to remember how old I was when I read Black Beauty.. probably nine.

(I'm not a parent, but something of a practiced aunt.)
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 01:54 pm
Do you know anyone with kids or have kids been around to see JJ. What kind of questions did/do they ask?
What is the purpose of the books, the moral of the story? Is is about animal cruelty and how an animal can be saved? or that JJ is special?
If it's a series, each book can bring in aspects of his history in a bits and pieces and mix it in with why he's special.
I think you should also add in your history, how you were the longest expectant mother to be. ever. Wink how you didn't expect the Mule and the lessons he's taught you.

Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 06:44 pm
@Ceili,
I think the hardest part about this is without telling how JJ came to be there really is no story but on the other hand I don't want to upset kids. Celi I'd have to say it's about how an animal can be saved and how special that animal is or can be. I have to tell you everyone was so patient with me while I was so sure every little movement was gonna bring JJ out! I am kind of excited about doing this but I am kind of scared to do it too. My husband loves the idea and thinks I can do it. I guess what worries me the most about it is I don't have children and am not sure about a lot of things because of it.

I love the thought of doing children's books about JJ and his friends around here. People stop all the time to watch him. Our mailman is just mesmerized by that mule.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 07:29 pm
@Arella Mae,
Since you are a cat lover, I'm guessing that you probably already have read this book. Just in case you haven't, here's a link to it on Amazon. This has been one of my favorite light reading books for many years.

http://www.amazon.com/All-Patients-Are-under-Bed/dp/0671554506

This is a retired vet telling some of the stories from his years of practice . The way he approaches some of the sadder tales might be helpful to you in the way you choose to reveal the history of JJ and JJ's relatives.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 07:59 pm
@Butrflynet,
Oh thank you! I admit when it comes to children I am really pretty clueless. I really appreciate everyone's advice. I think I am going to at least give it a try. Thank you!
0 Replies
 
MonaLeeza
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 08:01 pm
@Arella Mae,
I don't know JJ's story - but speaking as a mum I think that people underestimate kids all the time. Mine are teenagers now but even when they were little I always told them the truth if they asked about stories they heard on the news or things that happened with family and friends. I think it's just a matter of finding the right language and amount of detail for the age group you're aiming at.
Arella Mae
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 08:12 pm
@MonaLeeza,
I will give you the short version. My friend rescued Little Joy, JJ's mom, and Lulu, his half-sister from an auction. They were headed to slaughter. I fell in love with them and was told Joy might be pregnant. She was pregnant and I was beside myself because I didn't know how long she had been pregnant while suffering abuse. Well, I now have the most beautiful jack mule and his mom and sister are doing wonderfully. JJ has captured the hearts of everyone. People stop to watch him in the pasture all the time. I know it sounds prejudice but there is just something about him that makes him special to everyone. I guess I need to decide on an age group because the fact his mom and sister were rescued both being close to going to a slaughterhouse is a huge part of his story.

Oh, and I had no clue JJ was a mule. I figured he would be a Paso Fino/Tennessee Walker like his sister. LOL

Here is the link to the year long ordeal I put everyone through. There are some of the kindest people in the world on A2K. They put up with me and to this day they still follow that thread to hear about JJ's life.

http://able2know.org/topic/134242-1
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 10:17 pm
@Arella Mae,
That's true, not that we are so great, but that we are captivated.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2011 10:51 pm
@Arella Mae,
Arella, kids are just little people. Don't copy someone's style, don't write for one audience, write it like you would tell the story to anyone. Write what makes you comfortable, a good editor will help you refine the story.
Arella Mae
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2011 08:07 am
@Ceili,
Well, so far the way I have been doing the videos seems to go over pretty well. I was thinking of turning them into little storybooks. I'm kind of excited about doing this but also kind of scared because I don't know a thing about kids!

I really appreciate everyone's help!
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2011 04:33 pm
@Arella Mae,
You'll be great. JJ has a naturally great story.
0 Replies
 
cliffwill88
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2012 10:26 pm
@Arella Mae,
I think JJ's story would be great, and the children would actually learn how to appreciate and take care of the things that is around them, as of the story telling, my advice would be, choosing your words and phrases. it is not wrong to tell children of how things happen in our life, it is reality. Often, the problem that we encounter was the proper approach that we ought to give them.

write JJ's story Arella Mae, i am sure that the kids will love it.
wastonsmith85
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 May, 2013 02:27 am
@Arella Mae,
You need to know about kids activities like what they think, what they ask and what is daily activities etc. are the most important things to know about kids ages and nature. I read the JJ's story. JJ's books is good for children.
0 Replies
 
licopmarygrace
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Jul, 2013 03:57 am
@Arella Mae,
Well, it really sounds difficult. But nowadays, children are getting more open-minded to different issues and happenings around them. Your book should be made appropriate to a certain age group. For toddlers to young kids, you may try picture books, which highlight about the good things/moral lessons of the story. You can say that the character went through sad experiences but not specifically identifying details on your story. For teens, you may write about the character's past events but be careful with your words choice. Have you started already? I'm excited for you.
0 Replies
 
licopmarygrace
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Jul, 2013 04:00 am
@cliffwill88,
I totally agree with your post. The writing task might be difficult but its output will be worth it to have for children.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » I Need Some Help from Parents
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/29/2022 at 03:33:21