Today is the first anniversary of My Amazing Day‘s release date. As so often happens when time passes, it both seemed to come quickly, and I marvel at how much has happened. When I think of My Amazing Day‘s first year I have a slew of images come to mind–of people telling me their child or grandchild asks for the book again and again, of stories of families starting gratitude traditions inspired by the book, of charming photos and videos people have sent depicting little children enjoying the book, of reading to a group of preschoolers and them being totally engaged, of hearing from a shop owner that people come in to a buy a copy and then come back to buy more for gifts, and from another shop owner about the look of delight on people’s faces when they first look through the book. All that (and more) is truly a dream come true.
I am grateful to my collaborators Lori and Elizabeth for having the idea of a book that would start children of a lifetime of gratitude and then asking me to be its author, and also for using their creativity and talents to make My Amazing Day visually impeccable. I am grateful to our model Lily for being her beautiful, expressive self and for going with the flow of three grown-ups’ ideas with a camera clicking nearby. I am grateful to our Kickstarter backers–who made it possible for My Amazing Day to be printed as a board book–for their generosity and trust. I am grateful to family and friends, particularly my husband, Elizabeth’s husband, my son, my parents, my parents-in-law, Sarah, Justine, and Sheila for all their many kinds of support. I am grateful to the members of my writers groups (Marik Berghs, Rachael Posnak, Wowlvenn Seward-Katzmiller, Judy Gamble, Kay Frydenborg, Sheri Doyle, Stephen Aitken, and Carol Shank)–this book and all my writing is certainly better because of their feedback. I am grateful to Innosanto Nagara, author/illustrator of A is for Activist; Judi Riley, publisher of Absolutely Awesome Island Animals; Marik Berghs, author of Grace Notes; and Luan Stauss, owner of Laurel Book Store for sharing their wisdom on the publishing and business parts of bringing a book into the world. I am grateful to all the other people who gave feedback on the book or other insights, helped package Kickstarter rewards, and more, particularly Lisa and Ilani. I am grateful to the shop owners (Amazing Stores), librarians, and reviewers (What people are saying…) who were open to My Amazing Day, took it on, and became its advocates. In the pattern of the book, I’ll end with me–I am grateful to myself for my commitment to the vision of a book about wonder and gratitude for a very young audience, for stepping into the unknown again and again, and for trusting what I know.