A new book has arrived for your perusal! The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot, by Josh Gottsegen is currently on sale on Amazon. This new children's book has a quote that I quite adore - "Here's to who we've become... and who we've yet to become." Actually there are several from this book I enjoyed! It is an epic tale of a young chipmunk who is coming into his own.Check out the description below:
"As a young chipmunk, shy, bookish Rockford T. Honeypot had dreams of thrilling adventures across the forest. However, timid of danger and germs, his only adventures were found in books and in his imagination. When his family abandons him after a mistake that destroys their hazelnut business, Rockford sets off on a legendary journey beyond his wildest dreams. From exploring cuisines with a famous chef, training with ancient warrior monks, flying on giant hawks, finding true love, and much more, Rockford recounts his epic origin story of hardship, perseverance, and fortune."
Things I enjoy about the book:
This book is incredibly well written! I was surprised with the ease in which he was able to incorporate popular culture references, like "Live long and blossom". The nerd in me was giddy by that one.
Even as an adult, I can relate to Rockford in some ways. I dream of adventures, but mine are limited to books as well. I grew up the loner. The weird kid that didn't fit in so well with the other kids. So getting lost in reading was how I found a place where I belonged. Until being abandoned, that is how Rockford got by. I also got many of the modern references. Though this book is about animals, they live just like we do. And throughout the story, you find that Rockford is going through his history. From the discovery of green huts (greenhouses) to DOS (computer lingo of older tech).
Sometimes we find we are in circumstances that force us out of our comfort zone and into great unknowns. I like this lesson for kids as they need to know they can adapt and overcome, no matter the situation. Take 2020, for instance. It has blindsided the world. Turned chaos loose. But little by little, we have found ourselves getting back to a sense of peace. He was thrown out, family gone, and not a clue what to do. But step by step, he got closer to where he wanted to be - even if he didn't quite know it.
I'm glad that it is also lightly illustrated. My children love to read, but my oldest son and daughter both prefer stories that include artwork of some kind. This one has just enough to keep their interest but not too much that they aren't using their imagination. Simple, yet adorable, illustrations to begin each chapter.
In the beginning of the story, you find Rockford T. Honeypot in his later years with his great-grandson. He makes a comment that rings with great truth, "Age is a privilege." I have seen so many from the younger generation that don't have a grasp on this concept. Personally, I see each new day as a blessing, not something to take for granted. Being older also means you have experienced so much more in life. You have accumulated a wealth that cannot be measured. A rich database of knowledge that can be passed on to others. Such a simple phrase, but it holds so much depth. This wasn't the only one, mind you. There are others. Things that make you think on a bolder, deeper level. I appreciate this. His ability to write these in without making the story difficult for children is a true gift.
This book reminds me of sitting around the elderly people in my life. I could sit and listen to their vivid stories for hours! Their adventures gave me courage later in life, when I would think back to how someone I knew could be so strong in the face of challenges. At the same time, children will be able to connect to the story as they live through the trials with Rockford on his journey.
I highly suggest this book. It was a pleasure to read and share with my own children!
I interviewed Josh Gottsegen and wanted to share it with you all.
In 2014, I wrote a children's book about a family who runs a juice bar in Tropland Forest with the intention to make healthy eating "cool." After completing three books in my "Joosh's Juice Bar" picture book series, I decided to dedicate a full story of another character in Tropland. As I was brainstorming ideas, a close friend of mine fell ill, so I wrote a collection of short stories for her while she was in the hospital, all of which had messages of never giving up in the face of any obstacle. During her recovery, I continued to write and developed, "The Adventures of Rockford T Honeypot." I was motivated and inspired to write something filled with laughs, love, perseverance, and excitement for both of us. She is now 100% healthy, happy, and strong.
I imagine that you must be an avid reader. If that assumption is correct, when did that love for reading begin?
I loved fantasy stories at an early age, from Dr. Seuss's classic books to James and the Giant Peach, Willy Wonka, and others.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Growing up I've always loved to write stories. Throughout my academic years, I felt relieved when there was an essay for a test. I knew I had control of how to tell the story of my answer. What I love the most is the challenge to find the perfect words that express why inner thoughts.
When you get writers block (if ever) what do you do to get out of it?
The idea of writer's block is different for everyone. Writing stories can be challenging at any age. Of course, the most crucial aspect is the discipline to write without being distracted. I had to put my phone on "do not disturb" and try my hardest not to browse the web and to procrastinate. Writing is like working out your muscles; at first, it's challenging to start, but once you create a routine and motivate yourself in your own way, it becomes more comfortable and more rewarding.
What advice would you give to an aspiring young writer?
As previously mentioned, the hardest part is to disconnect from distractions. If you genuinely want to write, find comfort in your mind, work hard on the discipline to sit and write, and write what makes you entertained.
And from the kids in our home, did your Mom make you eat vegetables when you were growing up? If so, what vegetable was your least favorite?
"Live long and blossom. Cheers to both ears!"