We were living in Okinawa, Japan at Kadena Air Base. One day, we went to a gigantic community yard sale, and I spotted a boy Cabbage Patch Doll. At the time, my second son was only a year old, so I got the doll for him, and he just loved it! My son didn’t go anywhere without his doll…Sammy.
Many years later, the doll was having some problems. His body was getting torn, and his head even came off! I found a doll pattern and gave Sammy a new body. Suddenly, Sammy was an all-new doll. No longer was he a short, plump doll. Now he had long arms and legs, like a real little boy. I had to buy infant clothes for him and make some by hand. With the longer arms and legs, Sammy could really come to life when my son and I played with him. He could hug and even cross his legs!
I had so much fun playing with Sammy that I started to invent stories about a little boy (like my son) who had a stuffed teddy bear named Sammy, and that bear would come to life to have adventures with his boy, just as my son would have adventures with his doll.
At my dining table, I wrote the first story, now titled Pea Soup Disaster. After that, I wrote several more. I illustrated, lamented, and bound them into little books for my kids to enjoy. Eventually, I brought them to my kids’ schools to read them to classes. And I would bring Sammy on those visits to help illustrate the story. The children just loved him.
We still have the original Sammy, although his head is not currently on his body. He’s had a long life, and he shows it. His nose is cracked but still attached, and my son had given him a little gold stud earing, after he had his own ear pierced. And that earring is still in his little plastic head.
After I published Pea Soup Disaster, I ordered a brown teddy bear from Build-a-Bear workshop. Now I have Sammy the teddy bear!
BLURB: One Halloween night, Gregory and his teddy bear Sammy go trick-or-treating, hoping for lots and lots of candy. But Sammy is scared of everything and is constantly asking, “What’s that?” Gregory gets annoyed until one of those things turns out to be a flying broomstick. And this broom wants them to go for a ride. Where will it take them?
*Story picture book ages 4-8.
Ebook 99 CENTS:
ALSO ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elaine Kaye is the author of A Gregory Green Adventure series. She first created Gregory Green after her son, who loved her homemade pea soup.
Kaye has worked as a library assistant and teacher's assistant in elementary schools in the Sunshine State. She currently lives in Florida, but she has called Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Okinawa, Japan home.
She is a grandmother of three boys.
Enter here to win a signed paperback copy of Pea Soup Disaster, a hand-stitched bookmark, and a pea pod key chain! Open to all from September 16, 2018 – October 1, 2018!
Wow, I think that's the same base my father was stationed at! What are the odds? (And we lived there for several years.)ReplyDelete
Cool how the doll inspired Sammy the bear.
That is a neat coincidence, Alex. Thanks for commenting!Delete
I liked reading the story of how Sammy Bear came to be, too!Delete
Great how the inspiration for Sammy came from real life. Sounds like it was sure well played with.ReplyDelete
The best inspiration comes from real life right, Pat? Thanks for commenting!Delete
I'd agree that it was well-loved!Delete
What a great backstory to the books.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Liz!Delete
It's always cool to learn the story behind the story.Delete
This was indeed great to read Sherry . Thanks for sharing this with us.ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting, Yvonne!Delete
Glad you enjoyed the story.Delete
congrats on the new book to Mrs Kaye!ReplyDelete
Thank you, DEZMOND!Delete
It looks like a great Halloween read for the kids.Delete
Love how the idea for your story came to you. My daughter had a beloved bear that I should have remade too because it really deteriorated over time. Congrats on your book!ReplyDelete
The best, most-loved teddy bears do get pretty worn. I was fortunate to have found a good pattern. And that I had a sewing machine! Thank you, Natalie!Delete
I wish I had thought of remaking some of my kid's stuffed animals. That was a good idea.Delete
Thanks for hosting my mom for her newest release, Sherry!ReplyDelete
Hi, Sherry! Thank you for having me and both Sammys on your blog today. I am so happy my little tour starts here. :)ReplyDelete
You're welcome! Happy to help. Hope your books do well!Delete
Great post! The DIY job is a beauty! xoxoReplyDelete
Thank you, Shirley!Delete
I thought it was great how she repaired the doll!Delete
Love the story behind the story. When I was young, I collected story book dolls, they were called. Still have a couple. The memories are so much fun. Congratulations on your latest book, Elaine.ReplyDelete
That's great that you still have a couple of your childhood dolls. I have several Ginny dolls from when I was little.Delete
I've kept some dolls from my childhood, and also some from my daughter's childhood. It's nice to have those things.Delete
Awesome post. Thanks for sharing about yourself, Elaine! All the best!ReplyDelete
Thank you for commenting!Delete
It was interesting to read the story behind the story.Delete
Grats to Elaine. My son's 5 so he fits right in the age range. :)ReplyDelete
That's great! I hope he enjoys Gregory and Sammy. :)Delete
Sounds like a great book for your son!Delete
Congrats on the books! I love the story about Sammy!ReplyDelete
I liked the story, too!Delete
Hi, Sherry, and hello to my new author friend Elaine Kaye, mother of another long time Florida neighbor and blogging associate Chrys Fey. Quality writing runs in the family!ReplyDelete
I like the idea of our young hero Gregory Green's teddy bear coming to life and accompanying him on adventures. I also think it was a great idea for Elaine to have a Sammy prototype assembled by the Build-a-Bear workshop. This is the ideal time of year to capture the imagination of the young reader with a release such as Halloween Ride. I have no doubt the Gregory Green and Sammy series will be successful and long lasting.
Thanks for the introduction, dear friend Sherry!
Hi, Shady Del Knight! It's nice to "meet" you.Delete
I'm glad you like Sammy, both in the story and the Build-a-Bear workshop one. The actually teddy bear is a big hit at book events. Even adults love him.
And thanks for being so welcoming!Delete
I love the background story behind these tales. And wow, looks like Mom is going to be every bit as prolific a writer as her daughter. Here's wishing her much enjoyment and success with this series.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Susan! I have Chrys helping me out a lot. :)Delete
Writing runs in the family!Delete
Good stories. Glad he had such a long life, I know my daughter has many of her early dolls (especially Little Lamb)ReplyDelete
blogging at www.thepulpitandthepen.com
Sammy certainly has had a long life.Delete
It's nice to see such a well-loved toy.Delete
What stories. I liked these stories.ReplyDelete
It's fun to hear the story behind the story!Delete
These are good stories! All the best!ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting!Delete
Cool book:) I'm seeing it pop up all over:)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Mark. I've been at a few blogs. :)Delete
Looks like it's getting good coverage.Delete