By Terri Spilman
Sleep deprivation from being a new mom was just the motivation Carmel resident Sharon L. Kaminsky needed to write her first children’s picture book, “Sleep Baby, Sleep!.”
The storyline of the book is based on a song about the nocturnal sights and sounds of nature that Kaminsky sang to her now nineteen-month-old son, Magnus, when he was just a baby.
“I would lay there hearing noises outside while I was rocking Magnus to sleep,” said Kaminsky. “By the time he would go to sleep, I’d see the sun go down. Then I’d hear the frogs’ ribbitting. Then, I would hear the crickets, then see the stars and hear the owls. I went through the whole list and then next thing you know, it becomes the song that becomes the book.”
Kaminsky recommends a ritualistic, peaceful bedtime routine to get little ones to sleep in addition to singing and writes with humor based on her own experience. “At the end of the story, it’s really less of baby goes to sleep for baby – it’s more that baby needs to sleep for mommy. And so whenever I would sing that last part, he would open his eyes. I stopped singing the last two verses because he would wake up.”
Water colorist Sue Lynn Cotton was hand-picked by Kaminsky to do the illustrations for the book that include the likeness of Kaminsky’s son Magnus on the cover. Kaminsky also developed sheet music for “Sleep Baby, Sleep!” in additional to designing six greeting cards that feature illustrations from the book and contain inspirational messages for new and expectant moms.
Kaminsky, a Michigan native and retired teacher, has a master’s degree in education and has spent the past several years working with Fortune 500 companies developing their corporate training materials, in addition to doing modeling and voice-over work.
For other mothers aspiring to be a children’s book author, Kaminsky’s best advice is to do your due diligence by thoroughly researching the children’s book industry. “Not everyone’s going to be published, but you never know what might come out of it. I almost stopped modeling when I was 25 because I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m old now.’ Who knew that by the time I was 41 years old, I’d be offered more work than when I was 24. You just never know, the sky’s the limit.”
Her second children’s picture book, “What’s Making All That Racket Outside?” is set to be published this spring.
For more information, visit www.sharonkaminsky.com.