Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Introducing you to a "pop"ular book....half popped

Quote of the Day:  
"The best time to plan a book is while you're doing the dishes."
                                            ~Agatha Christie

Remember curling up on the couch to watch your favourite movie with a big bowl of popcorn on your lap?  Ever wonder if that popcorn was personified what it may be thinking?  Ever think that each kernel may have a name and a personality?  Ever wonder what the "rejects" at the bottom of the bowl feel as they are left swimming in the salt and butter....waiting....waiting...waiting to be chosen but are left untouched, ready to be discarded by the human eating machine.  Well this adorable tale of one such disparaged kernel of corn will give you an insight into what it is like to be left behind because of an imperfection that was not in any way his fault.  You will enjoy the read and I highly recommend it.

Title:  half popped
Author:  Jeff Feuerstein
Illustrators:  Dayna Brandoff and Alex Miller

I would like you to meet Kenny the Kernel.  He is looking downhearted and forlorn because you see,  he is flawed and imperfect.  He is only half popped because in the midst of making the popcorn the microwave stops and this is how he turns out.  Yep, he is definitely a half and half!

Unbeknownst to the human eating machine all the popcorn is dumped into a huge bowl and handfuls of the fluffy, white, popped kernels are scooped out and digested with glee.  Poor Kenny and his misfit friends spiral to the bottom of the bowl left to swim in the salty butter-brine, unwanted and untouched.

The human has no interest in eating the cast-offs whatsoever. Feeling rejected and and all alone, Kenny decides to "get out of Dodge", dodging being caught by the human machine thankfully, and decides to wander off into the kitchen.  Kenny opens up the fridge and discovers some very healthy snacks ready and willing to share their life stories with him.  He discovers he is not alone in his feelings of not being able to reach his natural potential.   He encounters fruits, vegetables, cookies and cereal who all have woeful stories to spin about their shortcomings in life.  He manages to encourage them and give them hope even though he is still feeling down and sad about his own situation.  Will Kenny find the answers he is looking for?  Will he discover his own self worth and finally unveil his purpose in life?   The enlightened half popped Kenny makes a decision that will change his life forever and he moves forward towards his destiny.

This charming, heartwarming, whimsical story is told in rhyming verse and is filled with heart and hope.  The illustrations combine unique artwork and photography and are delightful to behold.  The story encourages you to look on the positive, bright side of life and to know that everyone has value and a purpose in this world.  We need to celebrate each other's uniqueness and build each other up whenever and wherever we can.  I highly recommend this book.

About the author's and illustrators:

Jeff Feuerstein, author

Jeff Feuerstein has been writing since he was strong enough to hold a pencil. However, none of it was legible until much later. A New York sports fanatic with an affinity for Chinese take out and vintage t-shirts, he fills the time between by walking, thinking and dreaming up new characters. Jeff has worked in the film business since graduating from the Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

You can follow Jeff on twitter: @mosjeph

Freelance writing inquiries welcome.

Dayna Brandoff, co-illustrator

Dayna Brandoff just loves a good art project.  As a mother, she was eager to create a children's book that parents would actually want to read "again!" (and again. and again.)  As an entrepreneur and all around "do-er," she was thrilled to be able to help make it happen. Dayna is a Brooklyn-based professional organizer. She founded Chaos Theory Inc in 2007.

You can follow Dayna on twitter: @chaostheorynyc

Need an organizer? http://www.chaostheorynyc.com

Alex Miller, co-illustrator

Alex Miller is an artist, imagineer, and creative individual that is passionate about what he does. When he is not elbow-deep in his sketchbook he is still thinking of fun and fantastic ideas for his next project. Inspired by everything around him, Alex is on a life long journey to inspire others with his art. With a line here, dash of color there, Alex just wants his work to bring a smile to anyone that views it.

You can follow Alex on twitter: @Artofmiller

Stop by his Tumblr: http://alexjustinmiller.tumblr.com/

Check out his work: http://www.artofajm.com/

                         Book Review Rating:  8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have an excellent day!

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