Can You Picture This?
Claridge Resident Becomes Children’s Book Author
by Karen Fetter
Sometimes the story behind how a book was created can be just as interesting as the story itself. Newly published children’s author Cheryl Ceol makes that statement a fact with her book, “Can You Picture This? You Draw It – You Say It – You Find It – You Write It.” This Claridge resident has multiple purposes for her book and is excited for everyone to experience it.
The 44-page book allows children to practice observing, imagining, writing, finding, and speaking as they read and navigate through 10 short stories. The book is also designed to engage parents as well. Cheryl understands how fast-paced life has become and wants parents and their children to relax and take the time to use their imagination and create. As a result, parents interact and communicate with their children. According to Cheryl, the book is designed to exercise creativity and to have fun the old fashion way.
“I came from a middle class family and my parents maybe didn’t have a lot of money to spend on us, but they spent their time with me and that is what I cherished the most,” said Cheryl. “But that also helped me to become imaginative and creative.”
Cheryl’s heart has always been open to children. She loves spending time with her nieces and nephews and felt that she needed to contribute in a way that could help families bond and learn together. As a result, her new book has four sections based on ten short stories.
Draw It, Say It, Find It, Write It
The first section, You Draw It, encourages children to read a story and then draw whatever image comes to mind. Children can discover how many ways they can look at something. Then the next section, You Say It, asks the child to read the story out loud or speak about something special. The third section, You Find It, asks the child to look for hidden pictures using the clues at the end of each story. Here children will have to pay particular attention to details.
In the last section, You Write It, the child becomes the author and is asked to write his or her own comedy, drama, scary story, etc. from the artist’s pictures. With an adult’s involvement, the book can become a stepping stone to more elaborate and creative projects without involving any type of media or technology.
With a book as detailed and focused on a child’s imagination and development as this, one would think it had taken a lot of planning. Cheryl admits, however, that was not the case. Instead, it was more of an answer to a prayer that spurred her inner creativity to write and illustrate the book.
The Answer to a Prayer
“Life should be enjoyable and I knew I wasn’t where I should be,” said Cheryl. “I am a good listener and I have seen how many people struggle everyday with their jobs and with their families and I was right there with them. But my prayer was a thankful prayer that offered my willingness to give back with whatever talents God has given me.”
This prayer took place just three months before the actual book was published in December 2012. According to Cheryl, when God wants something to happen it can happen fast. It was shortly after the prayer that Cheryl was contacted by Balboa Press about her desire to self-publish a book. Suddenly, her ideas of this children’s book came into mind. Her experiences as a creative child along with her love of drawing contributed to the ease with which she created the stories. But most of all, Cheryl’s deep belief that prayers do get answered and that God wants all people to be happy inspired her the most.
“I’ve been a listener to people all my life. I suppose that’s why, as I think about our children, our moms and our dads and I hear the sadness, the violence and the depression and terrible pressures upon our families, that I pray for blessings for us all. I know that God reaches us through people a lot of the time. So, as I journey on through my own life, figuring it out as I go, doing the best that I can, I want everyone else to remain in hope, in love and joy with what’s been given to them,” said Cheryl.
Cheryl Ceol, Illustrator
Cheryl’s own life path never gave her any indication that she would be an author. She graduated from the Pittsburgh Art Institute and went on to work for a printing company for over 20 years as a graphic artist. She also acquired experience in portraiture, graphic design and illustration. She also holds current memberships with the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. To learn more about Cheryl’s artwork and experience please visit her own website www.ceolcreations.com.
“I started writing by looking at my heart and let everything build from there,” said Cheryl. “I really do believe children and their parents can create (recreate) the world. They, we… together, (with of course God’s guidance) can do exceedingly outstanding things. When I say children and their parents, I mean us all. I still think of myself as a child. One who deserves and needs good words of encouragement and hope. This should be daily.”
Balboa Press is a division of Hay House Publishing who believes in publishing positive messages. For someone like Cheryl, it was the opportunity she needed. She was able to combine everything from her past, everything she has listened to from struggling families, and everything from her own life struggles to reach a different way of looking at the world. Cheryl also used prayer and the desire to dispel the belief that people are to toil and drudge their way through life just to pay bills, to buy ‘things’, in order to go as fast as they can to prove that they are worth ‘something’.
“Well, you just mix all these feelings up, then you just sit back and let go. You let whatever is inside you that is good, out. And you have a book,” said Cheryl. “It’s about time to encourage the growth of goodness and family communication, the blossoming of the talents given to us, by tapping these areas at every age. I see people still as children, who should play and let out the unparalleled creativity inside themselves for the good of us all.”
Cheryl plans on continuing her role as author of children’s books in the future with more books. To read and share her current book with the children in your life, visit Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Balboa Press to order your copy today.