For Veteran's day we have a very special post to honor Veterans and their families. Please welcome our good friend, Gayle C. Krause, and read her beautifully written post about military families and learn about her poignant picture book, Daddy, Can You See The Moon? Gayle is generously donating a copy of her book for the #CommentContest. Winner to be announced in one week on Veteran's Day. Read on. . .
Writing from the Inside Out. . . by Gayle C. Krause
With Veterans Day coming up, the whole country celebrates the courage, bravery, and sacrifices of our soldiers. But in DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? I hope to make readers aware of the sacrifice of our military children.
Nearly two million children have parents currently serving, and that number doubles when you include the children of veterans post 9/11. They’ve had to say goodbye to their parents multiple times during what has been the largest sustained deployment in the history of our all-volunteer force.
Military children live in every zip code of our country and on military posts and bases across the globe. They have learned the true meaning of sacrifice and appreciate the expensive price of freedom. Our safety depends on their parents, but their everyday lives are mostly invisible to the general public.
On average, military children move and change schools eight times from the start of kindergarten to high school graduation. As quickly as orders come through they must pick up, pack up, and say goodbye to friends. With each move, military children must cope with the stress of making new friends, adapting to a new school environment at awkward times, and figuring out how to fit in once again.
I hope DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? helps civilian children understand and appreciate the child of a soldier/sailor, who may be sitting next to them in class. Recently, at a book festival, I had two adult brothers read the book cover to cover, and another man, did the same and “thanked” me for writing this story.
Written in rhyme, the lyrical couplets make the serious subject easy to read. Please take a moment to appreciate the military child and understand that your freedoms are based on their sacrifices.
And I’d like you to know that 10% of the royalties from this book are being donated to OUR MILITARY KIDS, https://www.ourmilitarykids.org
Clara has asked me to include a writing tip and for this book, I’d say EMOTION is the key. Experts say “show, don’t tell.” Here are some examples to show that emotion.
I could say that the boy and his siblings miss their dad and it’s hard for them to carry on without him. But the military child understands that to be the child of a soldier means that they’re expected to deal with the hardships of missing a parent. I sum it up in this couplet:
“It’s six full moons since Dad’s been gone,
but Mom and me, we soldier on.”
And since the soldier dad told his son to look at the moon each night before he goes to bed and know that he will be looking at it too, they would still be connected. But when the dad comes home a wounded warrior, the simple emotion in the child’s question as he looks at the moon alone, sums up his fear.
That night as I lay in my bed,
I think about what Daddy said.
“Daddy…can you see the moon,
marching in a dream platoon?”
Maybe if I stare real hard,
the moon will stand to be your guard
and watch you in your healing sleep
so we can have you back to keep.
So, I hope you all ask your library to order DADDY, CAN YOU SEE THE MOON? or you may even win a copy by leaving a comment below. You can follow my writing journey at www.gayleckrause.com
Gayle C. Krause is a PAL member of SCBWI, 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, and a past member of the Poet’s Garage. She’s served on Angie Karcher’s Rhyming Revolution Selection Committee, choosing the “best” rhyming picture book for 2015 to 2018. A Master educator, she’s taught Children’s Literature to prospective teachers. Ms. Krause writes fiction for Young Adult, Middle Grade, and young children. Rebecca Angus of Golden Wheat Literary represents her.
Thank you, Clara, for allowing me to share such an important picture book with your readers.
This book explores an incredibly difficult and painful topic with exquisite grace. The emotional resonance is palpable. The voices are strong, and the relationships are beautiful and complex. Thank you, Gayle, for having the courage to tackle such an important and challenging topic. I highly recommend this book.
Lauren Kerstein LCSW, P.C.
Thank you, Gayle, for sharing your beautiful story with us and for honoring Veterans and their families.
Thank you, dear readers, for leaving a comment for Gayle about her post. I know many of you are military families, and Gayle's book would be a perfect gift for a youngster in your life who may be counting the days until a mother or father comes home.
Be sure to visit Gayle here: www.gayleckrause.com