New Book’s Message Focuses on Uniqueness of Each Child

Written by Ann Byle on . Posted in Local

kateKatie Newell thinks in images, which plays well in her role as a graphic designer but plays even better in her new role as an author. Newell wrote and illustrated "I'd Rather Be A Dragon," a picture book that focuses on finding positive qualities and each child's uniqueness.

"We all have different qualities that make us who we are," said Newell, who lives in Lowell with her husband and three children ages 6, 8, and 10. "The world will do a good job pointing out the bad, but if we focus on the good the bad doesn't weigh us down so much."

Newell used watercolors and colored pencils to create the stunning illustrations that add depth and a sense of fun to the story of a little girl who would much rather be a dragon than a princess.

She's rather go exploring than have a tea party; rather draw a picture than go to dance class; experiment with time travel than do her homework; go fishing than bake a cake.

"When everyone's headed one way I seem to be going the other. When everyone sees one thing I see something completely different. Sometimes I worry I don't fit in," says the little girl.

But, she says, "I would still rather be exactly me."

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Newell first had the idea for the book a year and a half ago when her daughters were in their dragon phase, but did one illustration and put it away. She restarted writing and illustrating in early 2016, while her husband began researching publishing options. They settled on Credo House Publications based in northeast Grand Rapids, and opened a KickStarter campaign for funding.

They raised $17,000, which paid for design work on the book and printing, with plenty left for marketing, mailing, and reprints. They bought 1,000 books with roughly half already spoken for in preorders.

"We've had a very positive response," said Newell. "We all have different qualities that make us who we are."

The books are available at Red Barn Market, Books & Mortar in Grand Rapids, Baker Book House and Schuler Books.
Author Information
Ann Byle
About:
Ann Byle is a freelance writer for a number of publications including Today's Christian Woman and Publishers Weekly, a literary agent with Credo Communications, and author of several books including Soul Surfer Devotions with Bethany Hamilton and The Edge of Redemption with Troy Evans. She is an adjunct writing professor, contest judge, and cofounder of Breathe Christian Writers Conference. She and her husband, Ray, have four children ages 11 to 21, and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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