8th May 2017
Ella Saw The Tree
Written by Robert Vescio
Released: 1 May, 2017
Book title: Ella Saw The Tree
Author: Robert Vescio
Illustrator: Cheri Hughes
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
RRP: (HB) $24.99
RRP: (PB) $14.99
Intended Audience: Primary school age
ISBN (HB): 9781925520361
ISBN (PB): 9781925520378
Author’s website: www.robertvescio.com
Tell us about yourself
I’m a published children’s author. My picture books include, Jack and Mia (Wombat Books)listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville (Big Sky Publishing), Marlo Can Fly (Wombat Books) listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, No Matter Who We’re With (IP Kidz) and I have more picture books due for release soon.
Many of my short stories have been published in anthologies such as Packed Lunch, Short and Twisted, Charms Vol 1, The Toy Chest and The School Magazine NSW.
I’ve won awards for my children’s writing including First Place in the 2012 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition and Highly Commended in the 2011 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition.
I am a Books in Homes Role Model and I enjoy visiting schools. My aim is to enthuse and inspire children to read and write and leave them bursting with imaginative ideas.
What is your book about?
Ella saw the Tree is an entertaining story about living in the moment.
One windy day, as Ella plays in her backyard, she is showered by leaves. When she looks up, Ella sees a tree in her backyard ... has it always been there? And why is it crying?
It’s not until Ella carefully and attentively takes the time to - smell, listen, feel and look - that she discovers the tree in her backyard, as if for the very first time. By slowing down and experiencing new sensations, Ella learns to appreciate the simple things in life.
Ella Saw the Tree is a beautifully illustrated and captivating story that show’s children how easy it is to appreciate the world.
Who is your target audience for this book?
This book is perfect for sharing with children of all ages. This beautiful and reflective picture book teaches a simple but important lesson. By taking a moment to slow down and really appreciate your surroundings even the simple things can be surprising and fun.
What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
Ella Saw The Tree is a story about Mindfulness.
I didn’t want to write a story that pushed children into seated meditation and sounded too much like a lesson. So I wrote a story that made the practice of mindfulness fun.
In the story, the protagonist, Ella, interacts with nature and sees the beauty of life through her own eyes. With her mothers help, Ella lets loose and has an exhilarating moment where she really gets to feel the interconnection humans have with nature.
What does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
Ella’s teacher in the story is a tree. Ella learns to appreciate her surroundings by using her senses.
I’m hoping this book will help children to calm themselves down, resist focusing on negative emotions, be more aware and improve their capacity to pay attention to being in the moment.
The more present and mindful you are, the happier and resilient you will be.
How did the idea for this book come about?
My children are easily distracted with television and video games that it can be difficult for them to focus. We often tell our children to ‘pay attention’ but we don’t often teach children HOW to pay attention. So I wanted to write a story that does that in a fun way.
Also, parents have told me that they’ve seen their children read a book and realise they have no idea what they’ve just read. They’re there in person, but their mind is elsewhere.
Mindful awareness can teach children how to live in the moment and become more aware. By taking in information from all their senses, children are able to explore as they learn about their world.
I’m hoping this story will help bring mental health, wellbeing, better concentration and reduce anxiety.
Mindfulness can increase happiness in a child’s life.
Find out more about Robert Vescio
Robert Vescio's website: www.robertvescio.com
There’s something you should know about me and that is I like to talk about my books, but I don’t enjoy talking about myself … well, let’s see how long that lasts.
I started writing children’s stories about five years ago but I’ve always enjoyed writing, even way back in high school.
I received a number of Literacy Awards in English for story and poem writing and many of my works were published in the school’s yearbooks. I was also actively involved in the production of the school’s newspaper and school magazine. But since leaving high school, I never believed in myself enough to actually continue writing.
I worked in the publishing industry for over 12 years and for eight of those years I was a Photo Editor working on a number of photographic Magazines. I enjoyed sourcing photographic material from world-renowned photographers the ilks of Greg Gorman, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Jean-Baptiste Mondino just to name a few.
But it wasn’t until I left fulltime work in 2007, to become a stay-at-home dad, that I began to take writing more seriously. I had a great excuse to spend hours in the children’s section of bookstores. The love of reading books made it all the more easier for me to delve into the world of picture book writing. Also, having my own children helped as well. All I had to do was to observe them and the ideas started rolling in.
I enjoy writing stories and sharing my passion with children of all ages. All I want is for my stories to be read, like all aspiring and emerging writers, and to inspire and educate children. If I can change one child through my writing, then I’ve fulfilled my calling.
I’m a BIG kid at heart and a HUGE fan of Disney. I live in Sydney and enjoy spending time with my children who are an endless source of humour and inspiration.