Gene G. Bradbury’s latest children’s book encourages youth to read with a simple storyline and endearing characters.
Bradbury, a Sequim author of 19 books and counting, is continuing his love for writing post-retirement.
When he first started writing after his retirement as a chaplain and Lutheran minister, Bradbury said his goal was to write five books.
“When I got up to five I kept going,” he said.
Bradbury’s work has been published in children’s and general interest magazines and poetry and devotional collections since 1995. He also has written several children’s books and numerous poetry, writing, short story and devotional books for adults.
“When I retired, my wife said, ‘Some people go on cruises and some people travel, and if you want to publish books, do that,’ and that’s what I do,” Bradbury said.
“I enjoy the creative process.”
His latest story, “Kitten Kitty Reads a Book,” is a 32-page children’s book about a mother cat that starts out reading to her daughter Kitten Kitty. As she’s reading, other kittens line up at her door in their pajamas to read with Kitten Kitty and her mother.
“Kids like progression,” Bradbury said, referring to the kittens that continue to line up at the door to read with the mother cat.
As the doorbell keeps ringing, Bradbury said the theme of the book becomes: How many kittens can one lap hold? Bradbury said the book encourages young children to read and is written for ages 3-5, depending on the child.
He said the idea for the story came from a Navajo story doll he picked up while on a road trip. He said the story doll is a traditional icon used in Navajo culture when parents or grandparents would tell stories to young children.
Bradbury thought it was the perfect image to inspire his book, “because I love stories and tell stories,” he said.
The Navajo story doll mirrors the image of the mother cat with the kittens sitting on her lap at the end of the story.
Bradbury and local illustrator of the book Jean Wyatt then decided on the theme of cats to represent the characters.
“She wanted to do something on cats and I thought of the Navajo story doll,” Bradbury said.
Together he and Wyatt created “Kitten Kitty Reads a Book.”
At the end of each of Bradbury’s children’s books, he includes an educational segment. The educational piece for this book includes facts about cats and kittens.
Bradbury also has read several of his children’s books at workshop visits at Greywolf Elementary, Helen Haller, in Port Angeles and for his daughter’s kindergarten class in Nevada.
“Visits are important because you get a feel for the kids,” Bradbury said. “If you’re going to write, I think it’s important to be around children; how else are you going to understand them?”
Bradbury said he has a couple of books still in the works he is expecting to have published in the next year including a Christmas book and another book with a take on a creation story.
“Kitten Kitty Reads a Book” is available for purchase at Amazon.com.