A local author and artist have teamed up to create their first children’s book – one they hope will teach kids to be patient and have perseverance.
Rosa Fattahi, the author of “Callie the Blue Caterpillar,” said she wrote the book to help children who may be late bloomers and feel left behind, or who may be impatient to growing up. She collaborated with local artist Vincent Wood.
Fattahi said she used her life experiences to develop the concept. Fattahi grew up as the youngest in all her classes because she started school early.
When most children in her grade were starting puberty or were driving cars to school and getting their licenses, she was always a year behind.
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“Sometimes you feel a little anxiety or sadness, or feel left behind when things don’t move along,” she said. “I could kind of relate to it. I still feel like there are things in my life that I haven’t accomplished yet that other people might have accomplished that I want to still (do). So I think it’s something that kids deal with but adults deal with as well.”
The book tells a story of young caterpillar who wants to grow up quickly so she can enjoy the freedoms of adulthood. However, she becomes sad when her friends begin changing before she does. Once she finally emerges from the cocoon of her youth, Callie realized her life is just beginning. The book’s message is to be patient and have perseverance through the struggles of growth and change.
“I just wanted to emphasize patience, that things come in your time,” Fattahi said. “It’s OK to be a late bloomer. It’s OK to take five years instead of four years in college. Or whatever it is, I think it’s still something we deal with at all stages of life.”
Fattahi contacted Wood about collaborating on a book almost a year ago. The two went to Garner High together and they were friends. Wood had also never illustrated a children’s book.
Wood prides himself on his diversity of works. He said he wanted to knock that off his list of things to do.
The book took about a year in all from when it was written to when it was published.
Wood said each page took five hours to complete. He finished the illustrations over the course of two months.
“For it to be my first book, I’m really proud of it, he said. “I wanted to make sure that it looked like it belonged on shelves with other illustrators.”
They say the feedback and support has been great.
“I would like to thank all the local people who follow the artwork,” he said. “There were so many people in the community ordering books. Whether they are buying the books for their kids, they’re supporting me and Rosa.”
While neither have children of their own, both say they have a love for children.
Fattahi said the two plan to go to local elementary schools in the new year and read the book to children.