By Jennifer Bryant / firstname.lastname@example.org
YORK — What started as a York woman’s idea for a Christmas gift for the children in her family, has turned into a published children’s book, a future series, and hopes for a not-for-profit that will promote reading for school children and support local authors.
Five years ago, Amanda Woods was thinking of what to get her nephews for Christmas, something that would be different from the toys and items they’d already had. So she decided to put pen to paper and write a story about the boys and their family.
“We read every night. I thought, ‘I’m going to write a book about them and incorporate our family life, the family business,’” said Woods, who is the head of marketing for the Wiggly Bridge Distillery, where she works alongside her husband and father-in-law, and vice president of the York Region Chamber of Commerce. “The story just came out. Like with all the books I’ve written, it happens in one sitting.”
That first book “The Adventures of Four Boys” is about the group who wants to go to the zoo but finds that it costs money. They go from business to business — real businesses run by members of the Woods family — earning money. They count their earnings after the first day and learn they don’t quite have enough to go to the zoo. So they work another day. After making enough, they take their trip to the zoo and realize they have enough money left over for their next adventure. Woods said the book is a way to show kids in a way they understand “that you work hard and good things come from it.”
Since then, Woods has written five books for her family’s children, now including her son Cooper, 5, and her daughter Isabelle, 2. Now, her first book “The Robot & The Ballerina” has been published. It is available on Amazon where it has been ranked the #1 New Release in Children’s Dance Books and Robot Books.
With the “The Robot & Ballerina,” Woods said she wanted to do something different. It was election night, November 2016 and she hadn’t written her holiday story yet. She decided to stay up late to watch results roll in and write as the evening went on.
“This one took a turn. It wasn’t about the family and it’s a rhyming book, unlike the others, but it just flowed out,” Woods said, of the book and its premise, which is “if you can dream it, you can do it.”
The child in the book, Belle, is inspired by the personalities of her own children — she is a bright and fun girl with a bold imagination. The tired yet caring mother in the story is modeled after Woods herself. One morning when Belle wakes up early and wanders around the house to see what fun she can stumble upon, she finds a box and her imagination runs wild.
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