Local author Karen Jameson hosted a book launch for her new children’s bedtime book, “Moon Babies,” Saturday at Barnes & Noble.
The event was planned on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing because of the book’s close relation to the theme.
“I grew up at a time when the NASA space program was going on, and I remember as a kid, when the first astronaut walked on the moon,” Jameson said. “So, (‘Moon Babies’) just fuels the imagination about moons and what could be.”
Jameson was a longtime second- and third-grade teacher, mainly at Peachland Elementary School in the Newhall School District.
“When I was a teacher, I always loved reading to my class and that was always my very favorite part of the day,” she said. “I thought, in retirement, how could I keep working on connecting with kids through literature? I’ve always loved to write, so this seemed like the obvious answer.”
Jameson said she got the idea for the book when she saw an ad in the paper for Moon Valley Nurseries one morning.
“Because I was half asleep, I saw a picture of the moon and saw ‘nurseries’ and I thought, ‘a baby nursery of little moons?’” she said, chuckling.
The book, which is about “a secret little moon world where baby moons grow up,” took awhile for Jameson to write, and she made a lot of changes along the way.
“All of that helped to make the book the best it could be,” she added.
When the book was purchased, more changes were made and a new challenge came along; nobody knew what a moon baby was supposed to look like, she said.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I heard ‘Moon Babies,’ either,” said local mother Alice Bennett about the illustrations. “But they work well, and the rhymes and the illustrations make for a great bedtime story. I can’t wait to read this to my kids at bedtime.”
Bennett’s 3-year-old son loves space, so she said she thinks this will be a great way to get him interested in something enough to get him into bed at night.
The event began with a book reading, followed by Jameson teaching everyone the “Moon Babies” song she had created to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus.” Then, children were able to create space-related crafts while their parents waited in line to get their books signed.
“The whole evolution of the book — from start to finish — is just amazing to me,” said Mary Cerny-Klinger, a former librarian who is part of Jameson’s writers critique group. “This is just a perfect blend of pictures and story.”
Cerny-Klinger is also writing her own book and said the process is like a roller coaster with highs and lows.
“It takes on a life of its own, and you have to follow where the characters are taking you,” she added. “Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes when you’ve seen words so many times, you can get wordblind … Then you come to the meeting, and you get great feedback, you know what you need to fix, then you feel like you can do this.”
Cerny-Klinger is excited for Jameson, and said it is so much fun to be a part of the process.
“Right now, the publishing industry is so competitive, so if you can get your foot in the door, that’s the big hurdle,” she said.