“Teddies to the Rescue” is on the market now by my web page: theclickercenter.com and thru Amazon and different booksellers. To be taught extra about the true story behind “Teddies to the Rescue” learn on:
“Teddies to the Rescue” is the primary guide within the Kenyon Bear collection. It was initially a Christmas current for my mom.
I take heed to so many interviews during which folks speak about their horrible childhoods and their alcoholic, abusive dad and mom. I’m nearly embarrassed to say that I had pretty dad and mom. I “selected” them properly.
One of many nice classes I discovered from each of my dad and mom was you create your individual actuality. After I was twelve, my mom determined it was time to cease being a stay-at-home mother. Faculty tuitions had been looming sooner or later, and it was time to enhance the household funds. As an alternative of trying round for a “regular” job, my mom created her personal job. She determined to utilize her lifelong ardour for amassing.
Collectors gather. If my mom had been stranded on a desert island, she would have collected shells and fascinating pebbles. Since she had extra scope than a desert island supplies, her collections had been far more wide-ranging. There have been instances when the home resembled a museum greater than a spot folks truly lived.
My mom favored to gather. It was the hunt that appealed to her. She wasn’t a hoarder. She didn’t must hold the whole lot she discovered. She was completely completely satisfied creating a group, having fun with it for a time, after which promoting it on. So the “job” she selected was opening a herb store. The store gave her the proper excuse to go searching and the herb store gave her the proper setting.
A herb store is its personal self. It’s no matter you need it to be. My mom introduced all of her pursuits collectively to create a store that was a singular and enchanting expertise. It was half vintage store, half specialised backyard heart, half artwork gallery, half meals boutique, half guide retailer, and most significantly half toy store. If you happen to needed one thing particular, one thing you weren’t going to search out in different shops or reward catalogs, you went to The Shuttle Hill Herb Store.
One Saturday once I was within the store, an older woman got here in and requested us if we might be all in favour of carrying pears. Pears? That appeared very odd. We weren’t positive what she meant. It was a busy morning. We didn’t actually have time to speak to her. My mom excused herself to go assist one other buyer and this woman left the store. She returned a short while later with a field stuffed with handmade teddy bears.
Not pears. Bears.
They had been enchanting. They had been fantastically made. Sure. We might be delighted to promote her bears within the store.
That was the start of an exquisite relationship with Jane Kenyon, the maker of the store’s bears. We put them up within the entrance window the place everybody going previous may see them. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the bears began to have adventures.
Mrs Kenyon made an additional massive bear for the store. In fact, he was referred to as Kenyon in her honor. In “Teddies to the Rescue” I write:
“Kenyon is the store’s bear. He lives within the window all 12 months spherical.
At Christmas he attire up as Santa Bear and arms out presents to all the opposite bears.”
“At Easter he places on lengthy rabbit ears and pretends he’s the Easter Bunny.”
“In between instances he attire to swimsuit the season, and the opposite bears be part of him. They’re so humorous. In the summertime they go swimming with inside tubes and flippers.
At Halloween they gown up in scary ghost costumes and go Trick or Treating.”
All of that was true.
The bears had many adventures within the window. One among our prospects lent us a few of his vintage toys for the bears. He introduced us a steel horse and a giant inexperienced automotive. Within the winter I let Kenyon have my snow footwear and the bears went tenting. In the summertime they relaxed in hammocks and seashore chairs.
Individuals stopped in simply to see the bears. Each Saturday Mrs Kenyon would deliver us one other field stuffed with essentially the most lovely, enchanting, and magical bears. The bears discovered loving properties, all aside from one amber coloured bear who was returned to us in essentially the most horrible situation.
He was lacking an ear and his stuffing was falling out of huge holes in what had as soon as been his lovely mohair fur.
We despatched him again to Mrs Kenyon for repairs. She patched him up as finest she may. She made him a sailor swimsuit to cowl up the worst of the repairs.
That bear’s title is Amber and he nonetheless lives in my home. It’s his story that I share in “Teddies to the Rescue”.
Jane Kenyon’s son was a proficient artist. Within the fall of 1985 I steered to him that we create a youngsters’s guide collectively to provide as a Christmas current to our moms. I might write the story, and he may illustrate it.
Mark and I pulled out our favourite youngsters’s books to match what we favored for illustrations. We went towards the pattern of the day which was strongly influenced by Disney films. We selected as a substitute black and white, pen and ink illustrations.
The end result was “Teddies to the Rescue” which we gave to each our moms that Christmas.
In fact, they liked the guide. That goes with out saying. Moms are biased. They might have liked it it doesn’t matter what it was like. You possibly can’t go by their opinion. I used to be biased as properly, however that’s okay. I liked what we had created. Mark’s illustrations captured the magic of all my favourite youngsters’s books.
We determined to take the subsequent step and publish the guide. I had heard in regards to the difficulties of getting books revealed, particularly books that didn’t match the accepted norms. We had created a chapter guide for younger readers. (This was lengthy earlier than the Harry Potter books made it okay once more for youngsters’s books to have chapters.) And we had pen and ink drawings as a substitute of the Disney-influenced illustrations that had been the norm.
We made the choice to publish the guide ourselves. Now keep in mind this was 1986. We’re primarily speaking the pre-digital age. We had been in a position to make use of the typesetting gear on the State College, however the typesetting was achieved blind. On my very primitive model of a house laptop, I might guess on the formatting I needed, ship it the pc on the State College and a number of other days later, I might get again a scroll of typesetting paper.
As I unrolled it, I all the time felt as if I used to be again within the days of the traditional Romans.
The textual content on the scroll needed to be reduce and pasted onto story boards. A narrative board is precisely what it feels like, a stiff piece of cardboard on which a pair of dealing with pages are laid out.
The scroll of paper was reduce up and the suitable textual content together with any illustrations had been glued to the story board. On fairly a couple of of the pages we needed the textual content to wrap across the illustrations. If the indents weren’t fairly proper, I might guess on the corrections. I may see the coding on the pc display screen, however not how the web page would truly look.
I might ship within the corrections, and some days later I might get one other scroll of typesetting. It was a laborious course of as a result of nearly proper wasn’t adequate. We went by approximation after approximation till each Mark and I had been happy with the end result.
A stack of story boards was lastly despatched off to the printer. A couple of weeks later the blues arrived. That’s a photocopy printed from the ultimate plates. The blues are your final likelihood to identify any typos and make any wanted corrections earlier than the guide goes to press. Modifications are costly at this level so you need to hope you haven’t made any main errors.
With that final hurdle cleared, the books had been printed. We had been formidable. We ordered a print run of 5,000 books. That may have been a good printing even for the key presses. It was very formidable for an unknown writer with a self revealed guide.
The books arrived in time for Christmas 1986.
By that point Mark and I had been already at work on a second guide: “Edgrr The Bear Who Wished to be Actual”. We revealed that story the next Christmas and the next 12 months we revealed the third guide within the Kenyon Bear collection, “Sara’s Story – The Bear No person Wished”. Mark needed to bow out of illustrating this third story. His non-artist work life was taking an excessive amount of of his time to work on a 3rd guide, so Sara’s Story was illustrated by one other good buddy, Jane Isabella. Jane was knowledgeable artist who labored for us once in a while within the store. Jane introduced her personal model and sense of caprice to the pen and ink drawings.
Sara was revealed simply in time for Christmas 1988. By that point we had bought out of Teddies to the Rescue and we had been operating low on Edgrr. However we didn’t do one other print run of both guide as a result of my mom had lastly determined that after nearly 20 years of operating the store she was able to retire. 1989 was the final full 12 months within the store. Once we closed in January 1990, we had bought out of all three books. That was fairly an achievement.
Kenyon, Edgrr, Sara and all the opposite bears who had been featured within the books went house to stay with me. I nonetheless have all of them. They stay in a room very very similar to that described within the guide, an upstairs bed room that’s overseen by the very aged, and far liked teddy bear my mom had as a baby.
I wrote two extra Kenyon Bear tales, however I used to be busy with horses. I by no means had these tales illustrated, and for a few years they lay forgotten in a pile of different papers.
When the tree fell on my home in 2020, the story of the Upstairs Armadillo wasn’t the one manuscript that I discovered. I unearthed the unpublished Kenyon Bear books plus a number of different tales I had written.
Covid had shut down all journey. I had time to learn. Time to dream. Time to put in writing.
“No guide is actually price studying on the age of 10 which isn’t equally – and infrequently way more – price studying on the age of fifty and past.” C.S. Lewis
“Fashionable Horse Coaching” was the precedence. That guide developed out of the on-line clinics that I developed to take the place of the in-person clinics that the virus shut down. Now that it’s efficiently launched, I can flip my consideration again to the youngsters’s books.
So lastly, in any case as of late of teasing you with details about my latest publishing enterprise, let me let you know how one can get “Teddies to the Rescue”:
You possibly can order “the brand new guide”Teddies To The Rescue” by my web page:
theclickercenter.com and thru Amazon.
Please notice: In the intervening time (which means August 25, 2023), each the paperback and exhausting cowl editions can be found by my web page. Solely the hardcover is at the moment listed on Amazon. The paperback version needs to be out there on Amazon inside the subsequent day or two. The unique version continues to be listed on Amazon despite the fact that it has been out of print for years. It would be best to order the brand new version.
If you’re ordering from outdoors the USA, I like to recommend utilizing Amazon to keep away from the worldwide transport expenses.
And do please go away a 5 star evaluation on Amazon. That can assist others discover the guide.