Melissa Auell is a banjo-playing mom in Colorado, who decided to take on the problem of not finding children’s books about bluegrass music herself. Of course, it helps that she’s a professional writer and illustrator already, with the necessary skills to pull it off.
She’s created a lovely book called Brady Plays The Fiddle, produced in the board book style with which so many new parents are familiar. Its brightly colored pages tell the story of Brady the badger who loves music, but can’t decide what kind of music he likes best, or which instrument he should learn to play. Through interactions with his animal pals he discovers pop, rock ‘n’ roll, and swing, but when his parents take him to a bluegrass festival, the die is cast.
Big Bad Ben the bear shows him the mandolin, and Maggie Mule Deer plays him some banjo. Then a cow named The Milk Mongrel strums the guitar, and Rita Rabbit slides around with a reso-guitar. He hears Mr. Slithers the snake play the bass, but when Bobby Blue Jay started in with the bow, Brady knew he loved the fiddle best of all.
His parents buy him one of his own, and next year at the festival, he meets up again with his wooly chums and they start a bluegrass band. It’s a precious book, written in simple text appropriate for young children, with rhymes they’ll quickly learn to shout out as you read it to them.
Melissa said that she had looked high and low for books about bluegrass for her two sons, but couldn’t find what she was after. So after deciding that she would have to create one on her own, she scribbled out the story of Brady, and started on the illustrations.
She’s accepting orders now through Indigogo, with the option of claiming Brady Plays The Fiddle as a digital ebook to view on a tablet, or a board book, with several other options for folks willing to contribute.
Auell needs to raise a total of $5,000 to move forward and take this book to market. If you have small children who enjoy this sort of story, and would like a way to introduce them to bluegrass music and its instruments, Brady Plays The Fiddle looks like a grand way to do it. One of the options on her Indigogo page allows potential patrons to donate 10 copies to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or any organization of your choosing.
Visit Melissa’s page online for all the details. If she is able to raise the necessary funds, the book should be available in September.