The following post is written by Michael Buckley, author of Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show, illustrated by Dan Santat. Learn about why Michael chose to write this awesome picture book about the bravery inside each and every child. Also, learn about the bravest, most daredevil-ish moments of Abrams’ staff members’ children!
Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show came to me while my wife and I were in the midst of potty-training our son, Finn. Like many kids, Finn found the potty intimidating—what if he fell in and he couldn’t get out? Well, the awesome thing about my son is that sometimes he can overcome his fears and become a pint-sized Evel Knievel (minus the horrible, bone-crushing motorcycle crashes). One day Finn mustered the courage and before we knew it the “potty of doom” was a thing of the past. It was then that I realized that his life was full of intimidating, often scary events that required a lot of bravery—from eating new foods, to dressing himself, to going to bed alone in his room. As grown-ups, we take this stuff for granted. Kel Gilligan celebrates the bravery in the everyday courage of a child. I hope it makes your children laugh and feel proud of them and maybe even give broccoli a chance.
Share your child’s daredevil moment, in the comments below! Read on for daredevil moments from the children of Abrams’ staff.
Lindley Boegehold, Editorial Director, Calendar, Licenses and Custom Publishing
My second son Dean, now 16, at 5 received his first pair of in-line skates. We walked to Riverside Park at the corner of 93th Street and headed into the park to warm him up. In an eye blink he spun around and took off at top speed uphill on Riverside Drive- out of sight in 10 seconds. I ran after him, past lounging derelicts, walking dead, and every monster my peripheral vision caught on the benches that line the retaining walls of the park. Around 88th St. a well-meaning recliner said ” I saw a little one go by- sure is fast!” When I finally caught up to him at 86th Street (thankfully before the street corner) he was shining with joy- “Mom these are speedy! I love them! Thanks!” I didn’t have the heart to bring him down at the time with a “teachable moment.”
Jody Mosley, National Accounts Manager
My daughter, Violet, showed true bravery one sunny summer afternoon. She was playing with chalk outside our building. The building next door had about 8 kids ranging in age from 2-12 playing out front. She bravely walked up to the gaggle of kids and asked them if they would play with her. And, they did! I was amazed at her ability to approach a big group of unfamiliar kids. She was thrilled that an instance of bravery resulted in a new group of friends.
Merle Brown, Executive Assistant to Michael Jacobs
Mr. Browne’s brother gave each of my sons a Swiss Army Knife when they turned 10. Each boy was given precise instructions on how to use the knife and tips on how to treat the knife with respect. Each boy received a different color knife and they still have them today (my boys are 18, 21, and 27). Christian Browne got a blue Swiss Army Knife for his 10th birthday. It was a great day.
A few weeks later, he was in the back yard, whittling, while I was washing dishes, watching through kitchen window. I heard him scream. He ran into the house as blood sprayed across the kitchen ceiling. I got a little woozy and slumped down on the floor as I handed him a dish towel. “I’m going to sit down here for a few minutes while I figure out what to do,” I told him. We were seen very quickly in the ER, what with all the blood. The tip of Christian’s left pinkie was almost completely severed.
Such a tiny finger. So many stitches. I’m a little faint just writing about it.
Steve Tager, Senior Vice President
From my earliest memory, my son has been a bit of a dare devil when it comes to amusement park roller coast rides. He loves the Cyclone at Coney Island, and I remember a few years ago riding it with him. We have a picture of us coming around a big dip, with me screaming as if I’ve seen a ghost, and my son is cool, calm and collected as if he’s doing a crossword puzzle. Of course, he always wants to sit in the front row. Athea very young age, he was also a bit of a food dare devil. I remember he was about 5 years old, and I took him and a friend’s daughter to a small French bistro in Cobble Hill. My son ordered the “mussles meuniere” and got his date to join him in eating the meal. The owner must have thought that was a “daring” food choice for a 5 year old, and he treated them to the dinner.
Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Dan Santat (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2012) is available now wherever books are sold!