With Her Third Book, Children's Author Jill Hardin Continues to Fill Voids with Words-and Enchanting Images

"More than anything else right now in my life, I'd rather write books," says the intriguing author of the new children's volume, "I'd Rather Eat a Worm."

Jill Hardin, whose third book, "I'd Rather Eat a Worm," has just been released by Mirror Publishing (Milwaukee, WI), has always drawn inspiration from personal obstacles. In 2007 her life seemed to take on one challenge after another with the loss of her job, serious financial issues, and concern over a son's deployment to Iraq. Hardin filled the silence and anxiety with creativity by writing a children's book.

Four years later, the creativity has not waned. "I'd Rather Eat a Worm," her third book, is already drawing praise from teachers, librarians and parents. The story, written and illustrated by Hardin, is an engaging fable about a five-year-old boy who refuses to eat vegetables.

"My three children are grown and out of the house, but I thought back to some of the common childhood denominators, like a fascination with animals and bugs, and the fact that kids don't always believe their mothers, and used them to help create my newest book," says the author, whose previous works, "Chuck the Camel" and "Ross and the Peachtree," were well received. "My goal was simply to be entertaining. But once children start to enjoy books, it becomes much easier for them to develop a passion for reading, which leads to intellectual stimulation and creativity of their own. You couldn't ask for more than that from what began as just a hobby."

The 26-page book is geared for four-to-eight-year-olds, and the author, who is not formally trained as an artist, was able to effectively combine conceptual simplicity with visual style, using mostly acrylic paints. The results are enchanting.

"I started writing because it made me smile when life in general seemed to be taking most of the smiles away," Hardin says.

"Chuck the Camel" was inspired by her son Chuck's tour of duty in Iraq, and is an enjoyable lesson about camels in the Middle East. "It helped take the worry from my mind-and it educated children at the same time," Hardin explains. "Ross and the Peachtree" was inspired by her son Ross's comment about a tree in the backyard of a house from which they had to relocate due to economic setbacks. Both of Hardin's previous books were also published by Mirror.

"I'd Rather Eat a Worm" was inspired by the fact that all three of her children hated to eat vegetables (she's now hoping that her three grandchildren will break that tradition), and once again features a character named Ross.

Hardin, a professional administrative assistant, is a resident of Struthers, OH. In addition to other events on behalf of the new book, she has participated in the local "Plant the Seed to Read" campaign, which was cosponsored by the Altrusa Club of Youngstown, the Youngstown Public Library, and WNEO, the regional PBS television station. She is currently working on her fourth book.

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Categories: Books

Tags: adversity, author, children's book, creativity, ohio, single mother, Struthers, vegetables


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