Kookabuk Shares His Shovel
by Kevin Howard and Jesse Howard
“Welcome to The Kooky Adventures of My Friend Kookabuk, a wonderful collection of social stories created as a guide to help you and your special child approach new experiences and challenges in a positive and enriching way.
In this story, Emily helps Kookabuk learn how to share one of his most prized possessions. Most children are inherently very protective of their toys. While Kookabuk’s reluctance to share his green shovel is very typical, his reaction is elevated and prolonged. Fearful that Emily is confused and afraid to play with her son, Kookabuk’s mom steps in to guide their social interaction.”
Review/ Book Talk:
Kookabuk Shares His Shovel is a really great book that I think is going to help a lot of parents, teachers and children deal with this types of situations. The pictures and the poem are just beautiful.
I really love how this book was made. I think it’s going to be a really great series of books. This is definitely a most have for every parent and teacher. The book has great tips for parents and kids to help them navigate through these situations. The book also highlights the friendship between them and the need of the parent’s involvement when children are playing. I found it really great how the book shows the importance of parents guiding their children on this types of situations.
Q&A with the authors:
- What is your biggest challenge when it comes to writing?
In many ways the challenges I faced in writing this book were similar to those I’ve experienced in the past. The usual excuses and customary distractions repeatedly presented themselves throughout this process. The biggest hurdle, as with any of my previous undertakings, was finishing. I have learned over the years that persistence, perseverance, and determination are not just words, but rather instructions to live by. I did not allow time, money, family, or work-life deter me from my goal. Anytime I felt overwhelmed and wanted to stop, I referred back to one of my favorite quotes: “The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.” Accepting some “roadside assistance” every now and then, I managed to stay on course. Now equal to my other accomplishments, the first installment of The Kooky Adventures of My Friend Kookabuk is finalized.
Personally, my biggest challenge is starting. I often have many ideas that I consider before I begin to write, and can become stuck in that brainstorming stage. I am definitely a harsh self-critic and many times will eliminate an idea before its even fully formed. This is something I constantly aim to improve upon. I need to just write, even if I am not fully sold on the idea.
- What advice do you have for budding authors?
The advice I would share with budding authors is: Be true to your work. Do not let self-doubt or the doubt of others interfere with your creative thought. In the end, it will be your name next to the title and you don’t want to have any regrets.
Simply keep at it. I now realize that I did not publish anything until I reached the advanced age of 36 because many times I would have an idea, start writing, get frustrated, and give up. Having a great idea is a huge first step, but dedicating time and energy to see that idea through to completion is the challenge for me. But if I can do it, so can you. That’s just the truth. Also, you really have to deeply believe in your ability to write and be true to your writing style. Your level of education and training don’t matter as long as you have a unique voice.
- Why should people read your book?
I believe this book has all the ingredients of a classic children’s book: stunning illustrations, adorable characters, a fun meaningful storyline, and a memorable name. Additionally, this book has the unique combination of being entertaining and instructional. Included at the end of the story are strategies that provide helpful suggestions to guide parents/caregivers through challenging situations.
It’s truly unique. There are thousands of social stories for children—pretty much all children’s books are social stories. However, our book has the combination of being entertaining and fun while also sharing a positive message for all children (be patient, kind, and understanding and you can play nicely with anyone). Also, we add tips and suggestions for parents and caregivers at the back of our book. These suggestions are from our personal experiences and are intended to help parents to begin to think in terms of behavior management strategies. For parents of children with Autism, behavior management can be a particularly daunting challenge, so we hope our advice provides some relief.
- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have on readers?
I hope readers recognize that embracing similarities and accepting differences makes the world a much better place for everyone. And, random acts of kindness turns ordinary people into heroes.
I hope children reading the book who have Autism themselves come away from the book with increased self-confidence and a greater desire to share when playing with others. For neurotypical children, I hope they recognize how much fun can be had playing with a child with Autism or any child who is different from them. With a little patience, understanding, and kindness, they can forge a friendship with someone who may seem different from themselves.
About the authors:
Jesse Howard is a special education teacher in Westchester County, NY who received his Masters in Education (Childhood/Early Childhood/Students with Disabilities) from Manhattanville College. Raised in a family of special education teachers who embraced their passion to live a life devoted to the well being of all children, his career has focused mainly on early childhood and students with disabilities. He made learning creative and experiential for his students and developed a strong connection with parents. Realizing the importance of the role of the parent as “First Teacher,” Jesse encouraged parents that time spent reading with children was a critical as well as a rewarding experience. From these experiences, plus his love of writing, grew the foundation of his philosophy surrounding the Kookabuk series.
Kevin Howard graduated twice from the University of South Florida, receiving both a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Education. He spent the first 14 years of his early professional life in private industry, and is now approaching his 20th year as a public school teacher, trainer, and coach. While his resume is packed with a wealth of experience and education, Kevin confesses that his most rewarding experience has come from fatherhood and being the parent to a child with Autism. Kevin created and co-authored The Kooky Adventures of My Friend Kookabuk to share the knowledge he gained raising his son. The Kookabuk series is a collection of social stories that serve as a source of information, inspiration, and guidance for parents and children alike.
Continue to follow the Kookabuk Shares His Shovel blog tour tomorrow at BookMarketingBuzzBlog!
This book was given to me by Smith Publicity, Inc. in exchange of an honest review.