RochesterSeptember 5, 2012
10-year-old publishes book to help kids cope with school-related anxiety
By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer
ROCHESTER — Many children have anxiety about going to school for the first time, whether they’re afraid to leave their parents, worried about what other kids will do or scared of the unknown.
For his first few years of school, 10-year-old Danny Glazier, of Rochester, was one of those children.
“When I was in kindergarten, first and second grade, I was sad about going to school, and I know other people are, too,” he said.
A few years ago, while at an ice cream shop with his parents, Danny told them he wished he had 100 pockets, so he could fill them with all the things he loved. Curious about his remark, his parents asked him to name some of the things he would put in his pockets, and Danny began to list off all the things that he cared about and wanted with him when he was felling blue — his hamster, a photo of his family and a baseball, to name a few.
“We were asking him, ‘Why would you want to throw all those things in your pockets?’ And he started talking about how tough it was to go to school — and we all were obviously experiencing that — and that he wanted to be able to pull them out when he felt sad,” Danny’s mother, Michelle, said.
Soon after, the family decided his idea would be a fun topic for a children’s book, and Danny quickly got to work. He decided to base his book, “If I Had 100 Pockets,” and the main character — which is also named Danny — on personal experience.
“The book is about a little kid who is going into first grade, and he misses his parents whenever he goes to school, so he tries to get everything he loves in his pockets, but it doesn’t work out that well,” he said. “So he gets a sheet of paper out and he writes a list of his favorite things, and whenever he’s at school, he pulls it out, once a day or twice a day, and reads it, and it makes him feel better.”
Michelle said she is proud of the fact that her son put the concept together by himself, and she admitted that getting the book published was a process that the family knew nothing about. But that didn’t stop them from helping Danny achieve his goal.
“There was a year and a half to two years when we didn’t really know what were doing in terms of bringing a book to completion, but it was such a great thing that we wanted to foster for Danny’s creativity,” she said.
Nearly two years later, his 25-page book — illustrated by Krista Stasse, of Fenton — is self-published and for sale, thanks to guidance from family friends.
Michelle said she and her husband, Doug, are firm believers in seizing opportunities when they’re sitting right in front of you.
“How many times have we — as adults — thought about something and said, ‘I wish I would have done that,’” she said. “We invest in opportunities for our kids that relate to sports or a variety of other activities, and in this particular situation, thanks to Danny’s creativity along with the academic aspect, we really wanted to encourage his creativity and help him learn how things can really come to fruition with diligence and persistence.”
Danny said the book helped him cope with his feelings of unease about going to school, and he hopes it will have the same effect on other children.
“I know a few kids in the younger grades are sad, because I see them,” he said. “And a few kids in my grade, even.”
Danny expects to receive 500 copies of his book before he enters fifth grade at North Hill Elementary this fall.
To purchase a book for $7, send an email to email@example.com, or visit the book’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pages/If-I-Had-100-Pockets/420489711336805.
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