“In a dull and dreary city, a man works day after day for the money he thinks will bring him joy. Then, a strange yellow balloon begins to follow him everywhere he goes.”
That’s the synopsis of “Joy” – the children’s tale of a yellow balloon that follows a workaholic father to help him find happiness again.
About the Author
Most children’s book authors are years past their childhood when they first get published. But Audrey Yoon is an exception, penning her first fiction at the age of 11.
“I think for a children’s book they’re kind of just simple rhyming words,” said Audrey. “There’s not really anything there, but I wanted something deeper. So it was a way I could disguise it in a children’s book.”
How it Started
It was in Audrey’s sixth grade English class where she was first assigned to write her own children’s book and create her own characters and meaningful messages.
After her teacher suggested “Joy” had promise, Audrey’s dad contacted a publisher to turn her homework into hardcover.
“He calls me and the first thing he says is ‘is this story about you?’ and I was like ‘she says no.’ And then he said the second thing he thought was ‘is this story about me?’ And he was really taken by the uniqueness of it’s not just a classic kid’s book and it’s not just a classic fable and a lesson to be learned, it’s kind of somewhere in-between there,” explained her dad Eddie.
Working with an illustrator was Audrey’s favorite part of the publishing process.
“I like what he did with the coloring because that’s what I really wanted,” she added.
And finally the book was released this past July, leaving impressive marks with her longtime educators.
“You know you talk about our school mission statement of being self-directed and a community contributor. She’s really not only contributing to the reading community and children and adults that might read that story but she’s really inspiring other kids to do what she did,” said Melissa Heitz, Audrey’s fourth and fifth grade teacher.
Now the 13-year-old will be inspiring her classmates as she enters eighth grade with a book under her belt.
Where it’s Available
“Joy” is available for purchase on Amazon, books a million, Mascot Books, and at Barnes and Noble.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.