Author Shari Bitterman, a long-time resident of Queens, New York, sat down and discussed her new children's book, "Simon the #Snail," which was published via Archway Publishing in mid-January. The book's illustrations were done by illustrator Shanté Clair.
Background on the book
The main character of the story is Simon, who happens to be a snail, and he has a loving family, whose parents and siblings think the world of him. As the book progresses, the readers see Simon going through several phases and he finds himself being teased and bullied in his school, and even his teacher does not seem to be attentive to his needs, yet he has the support and acceptance of his family.
Inspiration behind the book
Bitterman shared that she was inspired to write this children's book one decade ago, and she noted that it was based on her daughter, who had a learning disability, yet she was able to overcome all of the obstacles that she had encountered in school. Bitterman subsequently revealed that her daughter is indeed "Simon." With this book, Bitterman hopes to inspire other children and their families who may face similar challenges.
Bitterman has personally experienced the difficulties faced by parents that are living with developmentally disabled children, which were her inspiration to create her protagonist, Simon; moreover, the book is written in rhyme, which is a style of writing that comes naturally to Bitterman. Being a veteran elementary school educator for over two decades, Bitterman feels that rhyming books are a great way to capture the attention of young readers.
Particularly impressive about the illustrations of "Simon the Snail" is that they were done in watercolor by illustrator Shanté Clair. They wanted to put the emphasis on the facial expressions of the characters, in an effort to enhance the storyline.
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, there will be a book signing taking place for "Simon the Snail" in Long Island at the Book Revue in Huntington, where Bitterman will also be reading her new book.