Welcome!! I am thrilled that you have visited the site. This is my first book and was born from my love of words and the fact that kids really love it when things get a little silly. If you’ve purchased a copy, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
While my hope is that kids enjoy this book for the pure joy of the silliness of changing the mundane into something funny, it also has an educational element. The book is written in rhyme and is designed to strengthen a child’s phonemic awareness, a useful foundational tool for early readers. Phonemic awareness is the skill of identifying and manipulating the individual sounds (phonemes) within words. The story plays directly on changing one of the phonemes to create an entirely new word, which could help improve this valuable skill. While the book possesses this educational element, its main purpose, though, is to provide laugh out loud moments and, hopefully, pique their imagination!
I am passionate about the value of reading to kids; therefore, for every 10 books sold, I am donating a book to underserved children, a library or school. In fact, I would love to partner with you in identifying a worthy place for a donated book. If you submit the name and address of a place to send a book using my website, I will add that to my list of places to donate. Thank you!!
The Word Wizard is a light-hearted children’s picture book that follows the humorous antics that occur when a boy meets a wizard. During a day in the boy’s life, a wizard keeps showing up unexpectedly and causes silly scenarios, sometimes to the boy’s delight and other times causing trouble. The boy’s crazy day concludes when he uses some creative problem-solving to get the wizard out of his life.
Available in hardcover, paperback, and Nook/iBook versions
If you wanted to know how this book was conceived...
Jan and I always read to the kids at bedtime. It’s one of the easiest and most enjoyable things a parent can do with their child and it has life-long benefits. Reading introduces news things and ideas to a child. It opens up possibilities and stimulates the imagination. It is educational, for sure, but mostly I’ve always thought that books were fun. I grew up with Dr. Seuss and his often, nonsensical, but devilishly clever rhymes. I relished the sing-song patterns of those rhymes. I recall recognizing that some characters and things in these books were clearly far-fetched, but yet still comfortable and fun. I also grew up with stories that touched my heart, but in a comical way, like in the tale of motherly love from Are You My Mother? For me, reading was always a new adventure to be found in the next book!
As an adult reading to my children, I got to read many of the classics in addition to a whole new set of entertaining books. We read Green Eggs and Ham and The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. We also made new friends, like many of the Sandra Boynton books, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and, probably my favorite, Miss Spider’s Tea Party by Daniel Kirk.
Eventually, the kids started asking me to tell bedtime stories. Switching from reading stories out of a book to creating them out of thin air on a nightly basis led me to develop a keen sense of what would capture my kids’ attention. Kids love stories about themselves as the character, and all the crazy and marvelous things they can do in a story. But I learned they also love stories about how mundane things can turn silly. This is something that I hope shows up in this book.
I am not entirely sure where I developed a love of words, but it most likely grew out of a love of playing word games, like Scrabble and Boggle, with family. Playing Scrabble, I quickly learned to recognize patterns and blends out of random letters. Over time, I would develop a keener interest in words in general, and recognized how a simple change in one letter created a new word, sometimes with hilarious consequences! So, one day in the kitchen of our house in Zebulon, NC, being silly with the kids and seeing them laugh, the idea for this book popped into my head. About ten years later, I have finally navigated the path of a self-publisher and am now sharing it with you!
A bit about me....
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up with a love of sports, especially soccer, which I still play. I obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for most of my career trying to find medicines to help people. I am so very happy to report that a molecule that I made years ago is now closing in on becoming a drug to help kids with Alagille Syndrome, which is a chronic liver disease that is extremely painful and significantly affects their quality of life.
As an author, this is my first book and grew out of my love for telling bedtime stories to Chei and Anna and the recognition that children really love it when things get a little silly. I have plans for a couple of more books, so please keep an eye out!
I am married and have two great kids, who are still in sunny California. Jan, my amazing wife, and I enjoy the outdoors, kayaking, hiking and traveling and are always on the lookout for another adventure. We have a dog named Kip who is hilarious when he walks backwards for no reason at all.