Spring Hill - It was about a year ago when Powell Middle School English Language Arts (ELA) teacher Alex Record heard a student discuss a misconception about an animal, possibly calling a whale a fish, or that snakes are slimy. It was something Record was able to correct with the student. But the situation got the teacher thinking. He wondered if there was a children's book available that discusses common misconceptions about animals. But after some research, Record was shocked that he could not find anything.
“Honestly, I feel a book like that should be a staple of any child’s library," Record said. So he decided to take it upon himself to make it happen! Record decided to create an ABC book, with each letter of the alphabet representing a different animal. He also created all the illustrations in the book, with some that took hours of meticulous digital work. He then submitted query letters to publishing companies, teaming up with The Publishing Room, a Jacksonville- based publishing company, which helped the book grow into fruition.
Although originally scheduled for a Sept. 15 release, Record’s book, Bats Aren’t Birds: An ABC Book of Animal Misconceptions, was published on Aug. 31! And to his delight, not only does he have the support of his coworkers and students, but also of his greatest critic – his 8-year-old daughter. “When I received the first proof copy, we all read it together, including the dog,” he said. "Now that I have the final book here now, my daughter is still picking it up. She enjoys reading it."
Now that he is a published children's author, Mr. Record hopes do to more, perhaps participate as a guest reader in an elementary classroom, or participating in reading festivals. He is also pondering writing another book, something geared more for adults. "It's just been a great experience," he said. "Everyone is so excited and supportive, and I think it's so cool."