Local Author Releases Third Children’s Book

Illustrator, writer and grandfather James Vincent reads to his grandchildren his very own children’s book. In his Beginning Cycles of Life series, the relationship of a young brother and sister is explored. In his newly released third book, the sister misses her brother who’s out of town with their grandparents. Submitted photo

Local author and illustrator James Vincent says he is inspired by his own grandchildren to write and draw children’s books.

“I’m Gonna Miss My Brother,” the third book in the Beginning Cycles of Life series exploring the emotions of sister Rita and brother “Bubby,” is all about how 4-year-old Rita begins to miss her 2-year-old brother when he goes to visit their paternal grandparents while she stays home with their maternal grandparents.

Over the course of a weekend, Rita feels sad to miss her brother and nostalgic for the times they spent together. As they are of different ages, Vincent said the ways in which they manifest their emotions in missing each other are different. To capture this, Vincent filled the book with many hand-drawn illustrations.

The realistic art style portrays these two characters who are inspired from Vincent’s real-life grandchildren. He created the first book in the series titled “Back When and For Now” because he was creatively stirred when he and his wife had to babysit their granddaughter. Thus, the first book’s story evolved into a tale of grandparents caring for their granddaughter and trying to make her happy.

In the sequel “Not For Now, But Soon,” Rita discovers that she is going to be a big sister after lots of adult commotion around here leaves her momentarily confused and wanting someone her size to play with. That longing dovetails into the third book, published as of June 26 by Fulton Books, as Rita realizes how much she loves her brother.

Vincent said he feels like reading to children is a pastime that can’t be replaced. Being able to read his own books to his grandchildren has helped make the two years apiece writing and drawing his books feel worthwhile. He spends 12 to 14 hours on each illustration and makes sure to capture the fictional children in rich detail.

“(The book) looks at all the benefits of being a sibling,” Vincent said.

A former art teacher at Falconer High School, Vincent wanted to make the most of his retirement as he said he had always wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. In doing so, he wanted to highlight the importance of reading to each other and leave a legacy for his family. He likes reading his books to children to see their reactions and gets lots of personal satisfaction illustrating the books.

Hardcover copies of Vincent’s books are available at the Off the Beaten Path bookstore in Lakewood and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Vincent will host a book signing and meet-and-greet at Davis Park on Aug. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to promote his new book.

“These books are just long enough,” Vincent said.

He feels that his trilogy of children’s books will last a long time. Vincent recommends taking in the illustrations as long as it takes to read each page. He likes to include references to the local area and also drew Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron.

“My books deal with realistic issues that a child usually experiences growing up,” Vincent said.

Vincent is open to authoring more books in the future. He gets inspired by new life situations with his grandchildren. Vincent has received exclusively glowing reviews online for these books and wants to see his projects succeed.

“(Writing) gives me a lot of peace of mind,” Vincent said. “(Reading) will always be with us; it’ll never change.”