Sunn Byrd, Encouraging Physical Fitness
By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: October 15, 2011
Sunn Byrd was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where her journey as a creative genius began at an early age as a student at the Settlement Music School. She earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at the Community College of Philadelphia. Byrd draws from her study of the liberal arts to work on her animated children’s book series, aptly entitled The Players. The series serves to promote camaraderie and physical fitness among young children.
TCBR: The Players is a book/audio series targeting children from their impressionable years of ages 3 and up. You wrote the series to encourage kids to keep active by way of sports and adventurous play. Can you tell us why you chose to get behind the cause of having kids live a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
Sunn Byrd: Two motives have lead me to stand behind the cause of having kids live a healthy active lifestyle. I have a special needs son who was born full-ter and stopped breathing around 5 months of age. I have never experienced the joy of seeing him stand, walk or run. His handicap inhibits him, yet the desire to embrace his health will always be my goal. With the assistance of my mom, his daily intake has been crafted around a healthy diet.
As a day care owner, working with kids has also made me consciously aware of the obesity percentage within our youth. Modern technology and the fast food market has surpassed daily exercise and physical active play time among today’s youth. The desire to encourage America’s children to keep physically active and live a healthy lifestyle has become imperative to me. Advising our children not to take their health for granite has also become a strategic goal of mine, it is easier to enhance your health than it is to regain it. “Never Quit, Stay Active & Fit!”
Each book in the series follows a different storyline where the characters find themselves in unfavorable situations. Through their motto “Practice Makes Perfect,” the characters provide lessons to the readers to promote good sportsmanship. What guidance will readers receive from the characters in Hiking we Go?
In the book Hiking We Go the readers will receive guidance with the practice of using good listening skills, environmental awareness, and the discipline of taking the proper safety precautions when exploring or playing out doors.
How many players are there in your series?
There are only four players in the series as of now, but we are considering the possibilities of adding a few more further down the line.
Does there appear to be a favorite player amongst readers?
I have notice that Touchdown (T.D.) tends to be a favorite of many people. He’s usually the one that gets into the most trouble. He brings a little sarcasm and, many times, unfavorable adventurous situations to the group.
The artwork for the series is created by Reggie Byers. What do you feel the illustrations bring to your words?
Reggie Byers is an incredibly gifted illustrator. He captured the perfect images of what I expressed to him within each character and brought visual life to my words.
When should we expect to see the next book in your series?
The second series of “The Players” is in development as we speak its titled “Girls Can Play Boys’ Sport Too!” It is due to be released this December (2011).
Can you share a little on your background and how you became a children’s book writer?
My background lies heavily in the arts, singing different genre’s of music such as Opera, Jazz, Gospel, and R&B which lead me to writing my own music. I also developed the passion for acting, doing many stage plays which gave me the desire of expanding my writing skills. I will now be releasing my first novel titled “Untold Secrets of a Child” in March, 2012. I’ve always treasured the gift of entertaining children. I have been the owner of a day care for the past 11 years. Being a part of their development and seeing so many inactive and unfit young kids has propelled me into writing children’s book centered around a healthy life style.
What would you say has been the most personally rewarding aspect or becoming a children’s book author?
The most rewarding aspect of being a children’s book writer is creating characters that are visually intriguing but define a story-line with a well learned lesson or encouraging message.
I read that you are committed to expanding your creative repertoire to not only continue enjoying personal success, but to also give back to your community by providing opportunities for youth with an interest in the arts. Is there any advice you would offer to parents whose children do show a strong interest in the arts?
I want parents to know that education is the key to life. However if a child has any form of interest in the arts, encourage it by placing them in an atmosphere where they are surrounded by it. Being involved in the arts gives a child a chance to portray their creative abilities of expression. Education with the arts is the perfect balance to life, It gives a child something to dream for.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to thank my readers for allowing me to share my creative abilities with them and to let them know their support is greatly appreciated.
Add this book to your collection: Hiking We Go!
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