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.
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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.
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