Have you ever lay on your back, looked up into the Heavens and watched the clouds scud by? It is so relaxing and also fun. A favorite pastime when my children were little was to search for animals and faces in the clouds. Some people see rabbits, sheep and monkeys. Others see “Man’s Inhumanity to Man.” Still others see signs of hope from departed family members. We also practiced our face-finding skills in the patches of kudzu ubiquitous on Southern highways. Those faces were mostly monsters, ghosts or trolls. At dusk and in the evening, the figures are silhouetted and become quite spooky. Kudzu creeps across the countryside and covers everything in sight and when it climbs trees and telephone poles, it can often resemble bizarre creatures. At times we would spot a “T-Rex,” or a mother monster looking for a car to snatch up for her kiddies’ breakfast.
This little habit was the inspiration for my children’s book and the making of Katie and the Kudzu King. Son Stephen remarked, “this would really scare some Yankee kids who had never seen Kudzu before!” I thought that he was right and that it could make a good children’s story. When they were about 6 and 9 years old, I sketched out a story outline and they had fun helping me fill in details. Since they are also “afflicted” with the family trait I call “rhyming couplet disorder” it didn’t take long before they were adding little verses to the story. This great literary work lay hidden in a file folder for over 20 years until I retired and had time to bring it to life and actually get it published. It has become popular and I have taken on the mantle of the “Kudzu King.”
People often ask me what age group the book appeals to. Although it would mostly fit kids in Kindergarten through the fifth grade, I like to say 2 to 100. I can support this because my granddaughter Janie at age two can recite the whole story. She likes to get in the tree-top (recliner) and have it read to her. On the other end of the scale I had two friends who reached the 100-year mark and they loved it also. Therefore, I get to claim kids of all ages, from 2 to one hundred!
If you would like to have a copy for your kids or grandkids, simply go to the Kudzu King bookstore page to place your order.