I am world-renowned as a writer and researcher of unexplained phenomenon, but that is not the extent of my work.
“I believe the children are our future,” sang Teddy Roosevelt at his inauguration.
With that abstract thought in my head, I made a vow to educate the children of the world with books on subjects I am most knowledgeable.
The first was called Air Disasters for Kids.
It was a pop-up book and included a life-sized pull out of a debris field. A forklift and three grown men with grappling hooks were required to unfold it. I did not sell too many copies.
The second book was a lighthearted story about a homemade experimental airplane entitled Arnold the Airplane Learns to Fly. Because he was built in a garage from a kit and not in a unionized shop, Arnold is bullied, taunted and intimidated by the other airplanes at the airport. They verbally abuse him in the hangers, the airfield and on Facebook too.
Despite the obstacle of being a homemade airplane with limited range, Arnold’s dream is to fly from Connecticut to Rhode Island. However, he fails to obtain his “airworthy certificate” because he constantly stalls and crashes into everything; school buses, high-voltage towers, the senior center.
Eventually Arnold is decommissioned and disassembled. Some of his parts are sold for cash while the rest of him is used for fire wood and wall decorations in his owner’s garage.
I thought this was a great idea for a kid’s book. It featured a loveable main character chasing his dream, coupled with a lesson about realistic expectations.
It was destined to be the Mike Mulligan of airplane books, sure to be a hit with kids and people suffering from depression. But the mental health community, school administrators and the “publisher” did not see it that way.
So I returned to the pop-up book, and wrote on the subject I know best: the JFK assassination.
Death at Dealey is the largest pop-up book ever written (over 1500 pages) and features footnotes, bibliography, as well as a fold-out recreation of Dealey Plaza, complete with motorcade route and a snap and pop view of the sniper’s nest. Because kids love interactivity, the book includes a DVD-ROM with audio clips, autopsy photos and a brief history of assassination pop-up books.
To this day I still receive letters from parents who read my books to their children.
Hopefully someday I’ll get a nice one.
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