My sons 6 & 4 LOVE books so when Jerome from SuperKid Stories invited me to a workshop, so I could write a story not only for them but about them, I couldn’t wait! SuperKid Stories is brainchild of Jerome. It was inspired both by Jerome’s love of writing and by his wife Elaine, who suggested he should write a story for their 2 sons Adam and Dylan. So that’s what Jerome did. He wrote a story about the boys and included photos of them in the book. And what child wouldn’t want to be the star of their own book?
SuperKid Stories is very much a family business, Jerome’s wife Elaine, helps with the proof reading editing and getting the language write for children. Jerome’s sister Susie is also involved in helping get the stories just right!
Image: SuperKid Stories
The workshop is 3.5 hours over 2 sessions (on zoom at the moment). We started off thinking about our SuperKid hero and what they might get up to on their adventures. There was also a free flow writing session and then the opportunity to write the outline of our story. I did the workshop with my lovely friend Helen Quinn, who also has 2 children. The breakout sessions were really useful for bouncing ideas off each other. This session took place in the morning so we were armed with tea coffee & muffins but could really imagine a group of friends getting together one evening for a wine and zoom workshop. The vouchers would also be a great gift to give to a grandparent or loved one and the finished photo books make great presents for children. When I told my kids I was doing this workshop they were so excited!
The second part of the workshop which took place a week later was focused on the photos and how to use SnapFish. Elaine was extremely helpful and gave some great advice on how best to fit the photos and text in. Prior to the session, she had proofread and edited our stories so they were good to go. It was so much fun preparing the photos with the kids and getting shots of them to match the book ready to use for the workshop. Elaine made learning about SnapFish fun and was also on hand to find photos that might be helpful. As these books are not for resale and for personal use only, it was possible to use most available photos. I needed one of a buffalo, for example and they are surprisingly hard to find on the streets of London!
The SuperKid Stories workshop was fun, creative and something I hadn’t done before. I’m still working on getting the book together and am enjoying the process a lot. Jerome and Elaine’s passion and enthusiasm for their business is catching. Even if you’ve never written a story in your life, their guidance and expertise will get your creativity fizz-popping away and ideas flowing. To find out more please do visit the SuperKid Stories website and get in touch with them if you have any questions. They’d love to hear from you! Website link: SuperKid Stories
Thanks for reading the review!
🌟And now for a little Q&A with Jerome 🌟
A1: The idea for SuperKid Stories came about as a challenge from my wife, Elaine, who had just finished beta reading one of my stories.
“It’s brilliant, but so dark,” she said. “Why don’t you ever write anything nice? How about you write a story for our boys?”
I proceeded to write a story for each of my sons, Dylan and Adam, inspired by their true characters.
Dylan‘s favourite toy at the time was a little Toot-Toot rhino that went everywhere with him. Dylan’s mission seemed to be to share every possible experience with Ninyho, as he called him! On a train Dylan would hold Rhino up to the window so his pal could see the sights, in his tent fort he would show Rhino the magic torchlights and even on holiday he took Rhino diving in the swimming pool! Needless to say, he didn’t “toot” so well after that!
So, I wrote Dylan and Rhino’s Safari Adventure as a poem in which “together the boys cross jungles of toys” and share many other escapades.
As for Adam, he has been a climber since before he could walk. I know many other parents out there will know exactly what I’m talking about here – the little man could climb a straight, buttered wall! It was almost like he was trying to escape!
So, I wrote the story of Adam “Danger” Griffin in the voice of Stewie Griffin, our distant relative from Quahog.
Of course, in this digital age we had tonnes of photos of the boys in their favourite activities, so I hit on the idea of building the stories around the pictures. I had immense fun writing these tales and putting them together with the photos. I also enjoyed a huge sense of achievement – in many ways a greater sense of achievement than anything else I have ever written! It was then that I thought that anyone with small children in their lives would also enjoy the experience as much as I did, have as much fun and gain the same sense of achievement. After all, we all want to leave a legacy for our children and give them something nobody else can give to their kids. At that point I knew that I just had to share the idea.
And so, SuperKid Stories was born!
A2: It’s one that I have come to know and love since I have had children of my own and it is Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. Everything about it is wonderful from the beautiful illustrations to the infectious rhyming lyrics and the heart-warming concept to the final message, which I hope every kid who reads it will carry with them throughout their lives. Gerald is really this season’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, in that he is ostracised early in the story, only to become the hero in the end. The story celebrates difference and tackles bullying in a delicate but meaningful way, leaving no doubt that everyone is special and has a part to play. It also highlights the idea that anyone can do anything with a little help and confidence.
And this is the beauty of writing for kids – you can address serious societal issues in their language and bring a positive influence.
A3:Ooh blimey! So many. And I think that’s the thing – it’s not one standout moment that lingers in my memory but an amalgamation of experiences that have grown to become a holistic sensory comfort blanket. From the compound fragrance of the pine tree and open fire to the explosive visual assault of sparkle and glitter decorating every home and business, and from the incessant loop of Christmas songs and tinkling bells that simply can’t be escaped for weeks (even though secretly I adore every moment of the intrusion), to the ever decreasing temperature outside that makes you wrap up until you can barely move your limbs, not to mention the myriad tastes that only arrive at this time: mince pies, plum pudding, mulled wine, pigs in blankets (add your own favourites…except sprouts, of course. Work of dark forces right there!).
So many other seemingly inconsequential events built the season into something special, like counting down to the last day of school before the holidays and waiting for the RTEGuide to be released (the Irish version of the Radio Times),and then the ritual of making notes next to the films and programmes you wanted to watch.
Playing board games as a family is also a fond memory. It’ssomething we only really did at Christmas and, even though it was always a lot of fun, I reckon it must be slightly rose-tinted because none of us are good losers!
A4: The most satisfying aspect of the workshops has to be the sense of achievement every single one of my clients has experienced from writing their own stories and seeing their books in print. A lot of people who have taken part have claimed that they aren’t really creative, yet when they have focussed for a couple of hours on something they wanted to do i.e. write a story starring their own little superhero, they have produced some incredible work!
I’m also enjoying the lessons I’m learning from clients along the way. One lady used an effect on her photos which made them look like sketched drawings and her book resembled an old–style Beatrix Potter or Winnie The Pooh book as a result. In another example, a gent in a recent workshop started off writing a story featuring his daughter but as it evolved she became a peripheral character and the main protagonist ended up being her favourite stuffed toy! He intends to write a series of them!
Q5: Are there plans for future books?
A5: Yes, definitely. I’ve got a few ideas knocking around my head at the moment, but I’m a little too busy with the Christmas effort to get them down on paper just yet. But early in the new year I will have a few new options ready for clients.
Q6: If you could take a superhero out for the day, who would the superhero be and where would you take them?
A6: I know this is cheesy, but I take my own two little superheroes out every weekend! Options are obviously limited right now, but when we can we go swimming, trampolining, to soft play, playground etc.
When it comes to fictional superheroes, that’s a really good question! I think it would have to be Batman and I would take him on a city cruise from the London Eye to Greenwich. They are informative, educational and great fun! It might help him to chill out a little and not be so tense all the time!