Ron Roecker felt it was time to illustrate and publish the stories he’s been writing for almost 25 years. His tales and colorful illustrations are a fun twist on idioms and adages that teach important messages of inclusion and acceptance for all…something the world needs now more than ever.
“I want my books to say something that the world needs to hear or be reminded of and I want them to be as relevant for a 4-year-old and an 84-year-old. I want to create connections between generations.”
I interviewed him when he released the first book in his 6 of 1, Half a Dozen of the Other series: Why Ball Wouldn’t Bounce. Since then, that book has received top reviews and made some of the media’s “Best of” children’s book lists. READ THE INTERVIEW
His second book, Why Inch Got a Foot, is now available on Amazon.
Tell us about your book, Why Inch Got a Foot.
The book is about a curious Inch Worm who takes the flight of a lifetime when the shoe she’s trying to get unstuck from the mud gets loose and flies with her far, far away. Even though she has never left home, she’s dreamed of this day and is determined to make the most of it. “If every inch ahead is now new, then why take just one if I can take two?”
The reader goes on the journey with her through the excitement and the anxiety that can come with new experiences and learning about things that are different than what we know.
At the end of the day, it’s about the choice we all can make when it comes to understanding the world around us and the role we can play in it: stay cocooned or find our wings and circle the moon. “For strange means less as we all see more, and that’s when we’ll rise together and soar.”
Who created your illustrations for the book?
I illustrated the first two books. I wish I would have taken an art class or two because I go through a lot of erasers, but I really know the characters and I had a vision of what I wanted the illustrations to look like. The illustrations, if you look at them closely, tell a little bit more of the story than just being visual representations of the words on the page. My illustrations for Why Ball Wouldn’t Bounce got great reviews, thankfully, so I decided to keep going with it.
Who is the ideal reader and how do you see the book being used?
4+. I have been so thrilled with the feedback I’ve been getting from teachers and parents regarding both books. I’ve been doing a lot of Zoom class visits the past month and have several more scheduled. Kids are so smart and curious and fearless so I am very conscious not to patronize them.
There are a lot of layers to the stories depending on how much you want to peel away and often times a younger person will pick up on the intricacies and I love that. As with the first book, “Inch” tells a story that is relevant to all ages so I hope it connects generations of family members as well.
What’s the message you want your readers to take away after reading the book?
“Stay curious, be brave, you don’t have to fear the unknown if you’re willing to get to know it, and the more accepting you are in this world, the more you will have to love in the end.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your books?
With 38 million books being sold on Amazon, it can be very challenging for independent, self-publishing authors like me to even make a blip. The reason these books have done well is because the people who take a chance on an unknown author and buy them end up buying more as gifts and talking about them to everyone they know. That’s been a total game-changer, and I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who has been so supportive and vocal.
If our readers leave with only one message after reading this interview, what would you like it to be?
I hope that the messages in both books—accepting others, embracing your differences, seeing things from other viewpoints—can help those of you in the autism community. I support the work that Geek Club Books does and that’s why I’ll be donating a portion of proceeds to their nonprofit so they can continue to amplify #ActuallyAutistic voices.
The world needs all of you to “bounce your bounce” and “all rise together and soar.”
Find out more about Ron and his children’s books:
- About Ron Roecker Author/Illustrator page on Amazon
- Ron Roecker’s Rontourage Facebook Page
- Buy Why Ball Wouldn’t Bounce
- Buy Why Inch Got a Foot