There is something special about hearing the elders in your family tell stories. The sound of their voices, coupled with the way they journey through plot twists and describe past events and real-life characters, burrows into listening ears and, sometimes, plants the desire to captivate others with story. For children’s book author Marja Perren, the person who most nurtured her love of story was her grandmother.
“I was raised in a home filled with family, music and culture, where visitors were always made welcome,” Perren says. “My fondest memories were listening to my grandmother’s tales of the old world. Before long, writing became a passion and constant in my life – from writing poetry during my peewee years to creating children’s tales of my own as an adult.”
Perren says she has written 21 children’s books, and the first to be published is “Dasha Saves the Day: At the Park.” The book, illustrated by Sejin Koo, will captivate young readers with its vibrant illustrations. Kids will get a kick out of seeing Dasha’s sunglass-wearing dog reclining in a lounge chair, opening his mouth for a dog treat dangling from an overhead branch. Dasha, a budding photographer, uses her lens to take us on a journey through her home life, then lets us tag along with her and her friends to the park, where a fun day turns into the scene of a crime. Undaunted, Dasha uses her photography skills and bravery to track down the criminal.
Perren says she wrote the book, which is part of a forthcoming series, because she believes literature “can encourage empathy, compassion, kindness and bravery.”
For more on Perren and her nonprofit, the Dasha Flash Foundation, visit www.DashaFlash.com.