Today it was announced that Sid the Sasquatch won the illustration Award in the Reader's Favorite annual international book award contest for 2017. This is quite an achievement and honor for Sid!
A HUGE thank you to the talented Joseph Cowman for his award winning contribution to this book!
In December, I sent President Obama a couple of Sid the Sasquatch books. I never shared his letter because there wasn't any reason to. I read it from time to time because it gives me #HOPE in what our country can be again and gives me hope knowing that there are people out there still fighting for the majority of us who do not share the same views as the current administration. I feel that now is the time to share his letter. Because perhaps it will give others hope too, when we so desperately need it. What is going on so publicly in the country right now is heartbreaking. When I was a child, I remember comments being made about interracial couples. I remember wondering why it mattered. It didn't. Love is love, it knows no colors. To tell someone not to love someone else for any reason is the complete opposite of how we should behave. No matter what anyone thinks, there is NO GOOD REASON why someone shouldn't love another. Let them love. One of my favorite phrases is "to each their own." I heard that when I was a child and I have repeated it many times in life. I believe in it. If there is no harm in a person's actions, then let them be. How can loving someone cause harm? It can't. So let them love.
But I digress… The world today is worse than I remember. I saw so much progress throughout my life, and now… we have stepped back. So help future generations move forward once again. Teach children to love. Teach them about other cultures and how to respect those that are different. Teach them to embrace the good qualities we all have. #SPREADLOVE
Sid the Sasquatch is a story about the acceptance of diversity. It is a fun story about a young sasquatch learning to see people for their heart and actions instead of their appearance. It is a tool to help introduce these topics in a fun and positive way. I hope that you will share Sid's story with your children. Share it with your own kids, your nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, neighbors. Share it and SPREAD LOVE.
Thank you former President Barack Obama, for giving me hope.
Four years ago my son was diagnosed as failure to thrive when he was only a few months old. After suffering through various testing in attempts to find a root cause with no answers, we were referred to the Ready, Set, Grow clinic at Children's Mercy. There, they informed us that in order to help our son we would have to insert a feeding tube and administer his formula through the tube going forward for an unknown amount of time. To make things worse, they informed me that I would be the one to have to insert that tube into my son's nose. The tube had to be set in place far enough down his throat that the food would get where it needed to go. This was my nightmare. This is how my son looked in the clinic prior to putting the tube in…
This is how he looked after…
The arm restraints were put on to keep him from pulling the tube out. We almost immediately took them off after leaving the clinic. Our concerns about his arm functionalities developing outweighed our fears of him pulling out the tube and us needing to insert it again. Although that was a big concern… the last thing I wanted to do was to insert the tube. It was obviously painful for him when we did so. I would take a baby sleepsack and swaddle him tightly, then hold his head as still as possible while pushing the tube into place as quickly and comfortably as I could. Then I would use special medical tape to paste the tube to his cheek and over his ear and onto his back. This was the routine. Even when he didn't pull the tube out, I had to change it out weekly and switch sides so that his cheek would heal from the rash created by the tape. I couldn't sleep well at night, and I kept him close in a bassinet for as long as I possibly could. It was not an easy time for us… but we persevered and the nightmare eventually ended.
This is my son today (Look at that happy boy! I'm a lucky Momma!!!)…
I am sharing this story with you, to explain to you why I need to donate to Children's Mercy. When I think back to that time in our lives, and I think of the stress and difficulty of it all… I can't help but feel blessed that all of that eventually ended. Then I think of the many parents out there who are coping with their child's cancer, diabetes, or other diagnosis (such as Congenital heart disease), and my heart breaks for them. If my scenario was as difficult as it was, then imagine how difficult their struggles are. I feel a bit helpless when I think about it. I can't help them. Not really. All I can do is offer support for those I know personally going through something like that… and give.
That brings me to my book and how Big Slick really inspired me to do what I could with what I have. In June 2015, I had the pleasure of attending the Big Slick Party & Auction. For those that aren't aware of what Big Slick is… it's a celebrity weekend charity event held every year in Kansas City to benefit Children's Mercy. The event is hosted by Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Eric Stonestreet, and Jason Sudeikis. Every year they invite a group of their celebrity friends to come out to KC and help raise money for Children's Mercy through various events like celebrity bowling and celebrity baseball. After the event I attended, I really admired those men for giving back to their community like they do.
So when I published my book last year, I said to myself that I wanted to help others with this achievement. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that when good things happen to you, you should do good with it and pay it forward. I knew I couldn't help everyone, but I wanted to help some… kids in particular. Children's Mercy was an obvious choice, for the help that they provided my son. I wanted to specifically help the kids and their families who are struggling through a cancer diagnosis. So I choose to donate to the Children's Mercy Cancer center. Shortly thereafter, I noticed my cousin was sharing a lot of information about Type 1 Diabetes on facebook. I didn't know much about it previously, I didn't even know there were two types. I also had NO idea it was as life threatening as it is. I honestly considered diabetes to be a manageable disease. Obviously, I was IGNORANT on all accounts. But, I thought that since my cousin was asking for donations to JDRF, that I would donate to them as well. What happened next was HEARTBREAKING. I became educated on the disease. I learned just how terrible this disease is, and how hard my cousin's life has been for the past 6 years. Her daughter Zoe was diagnosed at age 2. Her strength is an inspiration to me every day… and her daughter Zoe’s strength. Little Zoe is like a superhero in my book! So after learning about all of this, I became very passionate about wanting to cure diabetes… which unfortunately, I'm not a doctor or a chemist. So I wanted to educate others... to spread the word about this disease in the hopes that someone listening might be able to help in ways that I cannot.
That is when it became clear to me, that I needed to use this little book about a Sasquatch as a platform to spread awareness for diabetes and to help fund research as well as support the families and kids at Children's Mercy. And why I donate a percentage of sales for EVERY BOOK SOLD FOREVER to these two organizations.
If you'd like more information on these organizations, you can visit my Charities tab above and click on the logos for each. You will be directed to their websites.
September is full of exciting events for Sid! First up, Wendy Elliott will be signing books at the Kansas Book Festival in Topeka on Saturday September 9th (9am- 4pm). Come out and grab a picture with Sid on your way to see Curious George and Clifford! What a great opportunity to meet a fun group of characters!
The kids are sure to enjoy!
Then two weeks later on September 23rd, Wendy will be signing books and entertaining kids at the the KC KidsFest - the largest children's festival in the Kansas City area! Get your tickets early and save!
You don't want to miss this event!
It is an honor to have Sid the Sasquatch nominated for the 2017 Thorp Menn Literary Excellence Award. A sincere "thank you" to the panel of judges for including Sid in this year's ceremony.
Thank you to everyone who has welcomed Sid into their homes all across the United States, England and Australia! One day, maybe this entire map will be Sid blue! There is still a lot of work to be done to fill in those white spots! I believe it can be done! As my four year old likes to say, "Lets do this thing!"
Here is a list of all the areas where Sid the Sasquatch has travelled (where books have sold):
Wendy Elliott had the pleasure of sitting down with Maia Ades from SciFi4Me.com for an interview during their live stream coverage of Planet Comicon Kansas City in April (you can view the interview at the Videos tab above). During that time, Jen Wise with SciFi4Me snagged a copy of Sid the Sasquatch and graciously wrote a full article review after sharing the story with her 5 year old daughter.
"Sid the Sasquatch takes a new angle to that same old lesson, and in a way that speaks to children without exasperating adults. Between the melodic writing and the beautifully illustrated pages, I can see this joining the regular rotation of reading at our house." - Jen Wise (Read the full review by clicking on the picture below)
Many thanks to Maia, Jen, and SciFi4Me for taking the time to get to know Sid and sharing his story with others!
Wendy Elliott, the author of Sid the Sasquatch, is excited to announce that she will be joining the fun at Kansas City's Planet Comicon 2017 in 3 days! Planet Comicon is Kansas City's largest annual comic book and pop culture convention! Come out and say hello to Wendy at booth 2341 on your way to meet the number of exciting celebrities lined up for appearances this year:
Summer Glau - Firefly/Arrow
Ron Perlman - Hellboy/Sons of Anarchy
Jason Isaacs - Harry Potter/Peter Pan
Wil Wheaton - Star Trek: The Next Generation
Stephan Amell - Arrow
John Barrowman - Arrow/Doctor Who
Jim Beaver - Supernatural/Deadwood/Breaking Bad
Billie Piper - Doctor Who/Penny Dreadful
Maggie Geha - Gotham
Teddy Sears - The Flash/24:Legacy
Felicia Day - Buffy/ Dr. Horrible
Shannon Elizabeth - American Pie/Scary Movie
Tara Reid - American Pie/Sharknado
Ric Flair - Wrestling Legend
Jessica Nigri - Cosplay Superstar
And many, many more talented writers and entertainers!
Get your tickets early and save!
I don't fangirl often. I've met too many celebrities to think much about it. I lived in Los Angeles for six years and worked for Warner Bros. Celebrities were everywhere. There was never any grand moment, they weren't superhuman in any way... in fact a lot of them were disappointing in that regard. You get to know these people as characters, and you nearly always forget they are not the characters they play until you are standing a foot away from them and you see just how normal they are, some of whom may even be jerks in real life. Then again, to be fair, most of the time they're not jerks. Sometimes they are incredibly charming and you can completely understand why they lead the life they do. You can tell why they were chosen out of the vast sea of those who flocked to Hollywood auditioning for fame. So, like I said, I don't fangirl often. However, yesterday was one of those rare occasions.
Yesterday I had the privilege of going to a speaking engagement at the beautiful Woodneath Library to listen to Andrew McCarthy, best known for his roles in Mannequin, Pretty and Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, Less than Zero, Weekend at Bernies and known in the eighties as a member of the Brat Pack. Andrew is the author of a new book titled "Just Fly Away." He is currently travelling to promote this book. When I saw the event listed at my local library, I jumped at the opportunity to go and listen to him speak. I have a speaking engagement myself tomorrow that I am incredibly nervous about, so I had hoped it would be a learning experience for me. I for one, HATE speaking in public. Something I assume is far easier for him given his history in entertainment. He was very eloquent and appeared to love talking about his book and his experiences. Frankly, seeing him knock it out of the park like that just made me more nervous about my speaking event. Ah well, I will get through it. I haven't had enough opportunities to embarrass myself yet this year, so I'm long overdue! haha
After the speaking event, the crowd lined up to meet Andrew and get their books autographed. I lined up as well and watched the bizarre assembly line function its way towards me. I've never done this sort of thing before, so I found it to be very amusing. When it was my turn, I handed off my book to one woman and my phone to another (to snap a picture) and then walked up next to him for a quick awkward chat. I know that he has a small child at home, so I wanted to give him my book, and I did (I hope his little boy likes reading about Sid!). Then he asked me if I was a Royals fan (as I was wearing a Royals jersey), to which I let him know that everyone here are Royals fans. I'm sure he doesn't know just how blue our blood runs in Kansas City. That's ok though. I found him to be charming and personable, and I think he even got my sense of humor when I told him I was sorry he was a Yankees fan. Although it's entirely possible I offended him. If I did, he didn't show it. He laughed and jabbed me back about the Royals.
But I digress; I have not followed Andrew's career, I don't really know what he's been doing the last 25+ years, I know nothing of him at all except that he has written a book and acted in some movies I watched when I was a teenager. So why, you ask, was I a fangirl today? Well, I think it's a mix of things. I think there is this nostalgia to it all, when I think back at the dozens of times I watched Mannequin (I mean, I couldn't get enough of that movie)-- and how I had such a school girl crush on him-- I think back to that and how if I could tell that 12 year old girl that in 25+ years you will get to meet him and give him your book, how that 12 year old girl would probably faint. She wouldn't know what to do with herself knowing two things; she actually published a book; and she is going to meet Jonathan Switcher (his character in Mannequin - who actually shares her love for writing)! I'm honestly not sure which she would be more thrilled to hear... because I've loved writing all my life and frankly crushes are fleeting. Nevertheless, she would be thrilled... so I did this for my 12 year old self. She's pretty happy with me for getting out of the house last night! ;)
Here you will see our photo, I felt terrible for not holding his book facing the camera (things moved very fast), so I worked a little photoshop magic and made sure it's there. I've only read the first few pages so far, but I'm already hooked. Looks to be a fantastic read! Click on the picture below for a link to get a copy for yourself!
Thank you to Brandon Henderson with That Matters for including Sid the Sasquatch in your article "Books for a Cause." Wendy Elliott was honored to be a part of such a great list of authors giving back.
Please check out the article below, then browse their website for other articles about some of the good going on in this world!