Is Jackson's mom really an Alien from Space?
When Jackson was a preschooler, we played the 'one-sentence-story-game' (included in our Kids BrainGames book) a lot. We played it at their house, at my house, in the car, waiting in line, while we walked outdoors. ..everywhere.
Fast forward to age 6 1/2 and Jackson still enjoyed playing this word game. One day, the game turned into a monologue and I quickly realized he was beginning to tell a story. I started taking notes and recording the story he was weaving.
I typed up my notes and compared it to the phone recording for his review and approval. Jackson gave it a 'thumbs-up' but told me, "You can't change anything." I suggested including some punctuation and he gave me an OK. When I added that I thought the story needed a few additional words, he approved just 5. That's five words in total.
When we shared his story with his mother and other family and friends, the adults just chuckled as they realized the story was Jackson wondering aloud why his mom could do, and did, some of the things similar to many other parents.
The book truly is a child's view of the strange world of adulthood and the sometimes seemingly 'magical' or 'odd' behavior of said parents.
My favorite part, I think, is when Jackson is trying to figure out how his mother knows what he's doing, while she's in a different room or has her back to him. "Does she have eyes in the back of her head?" he asks in the story. I recall my own two children at a young age wondering how I knew what they were doing...even though I was in a different room.
Jackson's spin on his parents' 'strange' activities offered a humorous view of childhood that would be a funny book not just for children, but also for the adults in their lives.
Jackson and I became first-time authors within a week or so of each other: Jackson's My Mom is an Alien! was published at the age of 7, while my first book, If You Were..., was published at age 66. We celebrated being first time authors together and have continued writing our own books as well as co-authoring a book (WARNING. NEVER. EVER.) and a soon--to-be-published children's book series, The Adventures of Suitcase.The.Cat.
Writing and publishing a book had been a decades-long dream of mine. And I made a decision to become first-time authors together...allowing my dear grandson the prviliege of becoming a published author just days before his GAM.
His book has delighted both children and adults and he was invited to read it to a group of second graders at a local elementary school in December 2019. That was his first public event as a published author. He told the assembled group of students and parents that he was honored to be invited and would love to read to more students any time.
ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE: Jackson's book was co-illustrated by by my other grandson, Dane. When he was younger, Dane loved to draw and was quite good at it. His mother was homeschooling both of their children and I suggested this as an art project. Dane drew several images and his sister, Jayden, also sent a few images. Jackson added some images he felt were needed and the book turned into the most wonderful and memorable family project. I still smile today thinking of how each of my grandchildren contributed a part of themselves to the book.