After teaching children dance for 25 years, Gina Bates Brown decided to pen six stories about things she wished she had known as a little girl. What she wrote turned into “Zen and Bodhi’s Snowy Day,” a children’s book published in December 2014.
“This story is about being mindful and being aware and using your senses to stimulate your mind,” Brown said. She added that she wanted to communicate big things about life to young readers, so she tried to communicate the impermanence of life. “Things are always changing in life, people come and people go and everything is changing.”
She teaches this in her book with simple things in nature, such as snow and wind. “The story asks, where does snow come from? Where is it now? It gets you to think, you caught a snowflake on your tongue and now it is gone.”
Brown said she’s been thrilled to see the book engaging young minds. “You get these amazing answers from the kids. It’s so amazing to see them contemplating these big questions. It’s amazing to see their little brains working.”
Brown wrote from her home in Frederick County and was inspired by the view out her windows over Lake Linganore. The book’s deer scene was crafted from a tableau in her own back yard, she said.
Brown’s children, son Zacary, 14, and daughter Madison, 17, who attend Friends Meeting School in Ijamsville, were both involved in writing the book. Zacary helped Brown make a YouTube book trailer she posted online and Madison suggested koala bears be used as the main characters in the book, which Brown said fulfilled her vision impeccably. The tale is told through the relationship of a mother koala bear and her baby.
This month, Brown will be signing and selling “Zen and Bodhi’s Snowy Day” at the Illuminate Frederick Festival held April 19 at the Frederick Fairgrounds. This event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.illuminatefrederick.com. Brown’s book is also available on Amazon.