Press Kit - Am I Like My Daddy?
Children's Book Overview
Am I Like My Daddy?
by Marcy Blesy
illustrated by Amy Kuhl Cox
ISBN 978-0-9819591-3-9, 48 pages (8" X 10”) paperback © 2012
$12.00 plus $2.50 postage
Grace is a little girl who wonders if she is anything like her daddy. She uses the process of journaling to discover more about her deceased father. For more information on Am I Like My Daddy? visit <http://www.bronzemanbooks.com> or e-mail Randy Brooks at <email@example.com>.
For Marcy Blesy, Am I Like My Daddy? is a very personal story. Having lost her dad when she was young, Marcy found herself as an adult wondering if she was anything like the man she remembered so little about. Through creating the story of Grace, a little girl who wonders if she is anything like her daddy, Marcy hopes to give children a sense of peace in knowing that others understand their plight
Am I Like My Daddy? is an important book in the children’s grief genre. Many books in this genre deal with the time immediately after a loved one dies. This book focuses on years after the death, when a maturing child is reprocessing his or her grief. New questions arise in the child’s need to fill in those memory gaps.
“This is a book of hope and comfort. It really makes my life come full circle to use a terrible time from my childhood to counsel children and let them know that others really do understand.” --Marcy Blesy, Volunteer Facilitator at Lory’s Place, a grief education center in St. Joseph, Michigan
Publication announcement news release: Am I Like My Daddy? News Release(DOC)
Am I Like My Daddy? Front cover (8x10) 72 dpi JPG
Am I Like My Daddy? Back cover (8x10) 72 dpi PNG
Author & Illustrator Photographs
Author Marcy Blesy - color photograph 72 dpi JPG
Artist Amy Kuhl Cox - color photograph 72 dpi JPG
Artist Amy Kuhl Cox - stained glass self-portrait 72 dpi JPG
Author's Creative Statement
The seed for writing has always been planted in the mind of author Marcy Blesy. After graduating from Millikin University in 1994 and teaching for several years in Niantic-Harristown and Sandwich Community School Districts, she took a decade hiatus to stay home with her two boys, Connor and Luke. It was only when her youngest son went to school that she decided to cultivate that seed and follow her dreams of writing. Immersing herself into both writing and learning about the publishing industry, she wrote two novels and various picture books. With success in publication in local newspapers and magazines, as well an essay in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Mothers, it was the publication of her own book that seemed still out of reach.
“Writing instructors tell you to write what you know,” she says. “I really think there is a part of me in everything that I write. Even those characters who make choices that I would not make still have qualities that are very much like me. I am most thrilled that my first published book, Am I Like My Daddy? is the one story that is closest to me.”
Marcy’s dad died when she was 13, and growing up without her dad has had a lasting impact. “There have been times in my life, honestly, when I didn’t really think about my dad at all, especially as I became even more removed from the actual time of his death. However, as I married and had my own children my thoughts of my dad have become much more prominent. At a family birthday party for my dad’s older brother, he said to my younger sister, ‘Megan, you are so much like your dad.’ Why wasn’t I like my dad, I wondered. I want to be like my dad, too. Really my thoughts were very childlike even though I was a 30 something year old woman. And that moment was the inspiration for my picture book. I created the character of Grace. She’s lost her dad and when given the assignment to write about a special person for a school project, chooses her dad. Realizing she doesn’t remember him well as he died when she was 5, she begins a journey to learn more about her dad and if she is anything like him”
Marcy is a volunteer facilitator at Lory’s Place, a grief education center in St. Joseph, Michigan. “In the Little Mates group I help with, the kids often have to share a memory of their lost loved one. I still feel sad that I don’t have many of those memories. I hope that my book will help kids with two things. (1) Let them know it’s okay if they don’t remember everything as clearly as they would like. (2) Give them tools for learning some of the information they need to hear. There is an education component of the book at the back that gives kids practical solutions like making a scrapbook or writing a letter to someone that knew the deceased loved one.”
Am I Like My Daddy? is an important book in the children’s grief genre. Many books in this genre deal with the time immediately after a loved one dies. This book focuses on years after the death when the child is reprocessing her grief and maturing. New questions arise, and she needs to fill in those holes in her memories. “I am, of course, thrilled to have my first published book, but I am also honored to be able to share this story of hope for kids going through a really hard time. Am I Like My Daddy? is not a sad story, but one of hope and comfort. It really makes my life come full circle to use a terrible time from my childhood to counsel children and let them know that others really do understand.”
See the author's blog about the publication release celebration.
Artist's Creative Statement
My process of illustration for Am I Like My Daddy? began with conceptual drawings and photographing models for Grace and her mother. I hand-drew the illustrations with pencil and subsequently inked them with Pigma Micron pens. Each intersection between lines is contoured to resemble leading between stained glass panels. I then scanned and completed the illustrations in Photo- shop. After photographing the windows of Grace Episcopal Church in Anderson, South Carolina, I used the computer to “paint” the colors and textures from the stained glass into each “pane” within my drawing. Illustrations of Grace’s “constructed memories” were then printed onto canvas, treated with watercolor crayons, sewn with a sewing machine, and re-scanned into the computer.
In depicting Grace’s personal and hopeful journey of discovery, I explored the support system of grief, in which parent and child support each other. Physical artifacts from her father surround Grace, and I used Grace’s journaling to comprise the form of her father as she learns about him through loved ones’ memories.
Amy Kuhl Cox
See the illustrator's web site about the process of illustrating this book.