Meet Nate. He’s the protagonist in the children’s book that C.J. wrote. The book is in very limited release. There’s only one copy in print. And that copy is C.J.’s.
I recently took C.J. to StoryMakery (in the Irvine Spectrum Center by our house). StoryMakery is the first self-publishing destination experience for kids. Children make their own characters and build their own stories from concept to completion. It’s like Build-A-Bear, but instead of leaving with a plush toy, kids leave with a book that they authored and illustrated.
C.J. started by creating his main character Nate. Nate is a 20-year-old writer. He is gay and lives at home with his parents because he loves his house, his room and his family. He is single at the moment and loves to listen to pop music. He mostly wears pink even though gold is his all-time favorite color. He likes gymnastics and milk shakes.
Alexa at StoryMakery helped C.J. on his one-hour journey to becoming a published author. Her and C.J. hit it off right away and she informed C.J. that his book was StoryMakery’s first ever to include a gay Pride scene. This is one of his greatest accomplishments to date.
If you like children’s books that include Pride, gay men, magical unicorns, getting tans with mermaids and adventure-stopping, tutu-wearing elephants, read on. If you don’t like books that include those things, what’s wrong with you?!
Nate’s Great Adventure
One cool night, Nate dreamt about going on a magical journey.
Nate was a bubbly and silly boy who loved to do gymnastics. He was full of imagination and intelligence, always wondering what adventure he could go on next.
One night as Nate was falling into a deep sleep, he heard a knock at the door. He opened the door to find a magical unicorn.
“Nate! Come with me on a magical journey. We will fly in the sky and met the most splendid people,” the unicorn exclaimed.
“I would love to go, but I have to be back before the sun rises,” Nate told the unicorn.
“Don’t worry, we will be back right on time,” the unicorn assured him.
Nate crawled quietly out of bed and quickly packed his bag with a computer, some gymnastics grips, a blender, and milk shake ingredients. Nate was so excited to go on this journey.
“I can’t believe this is actually happening!”
“You will see everything you’ve dreamed of seeing,” the unicorn promised.
Nate climbed on the unicorn’s back and the two traveled at lighting speed! As they were flying, they stopped by the Pride Parade. Together the friends enjoyed the parade. Nate and the unicorn then walked around Pride visiting different booths. They got to spin prize wheels and collect free gifts like hand sanitizer, phone cases, flags, pins, and gift cards. Nate had so much fun!
Next, they passed dark mountains where an elephant lived. The mountains were surrounded by dark clouds and covered with fog. They were the tallest mountains that Nate had ever seen.
“Oops!” the unicorn said, “Looks like we took a wrong turn.”
“Oh, no! What’s in those mountains?” Nate asked with concern.
“An adventure stopping elephant,” the unicorn replied.
Nate was worried but he knew the unicorn would protect him. As they passed the mountains, the elephant came out of her cave. The elephant wore a tutu and was saying funny things in a loud voice while wiggling her arms. She was trying to stop them from continuing their adventure with her distracting motions.
Nate was worried the adventure stopped here. Then he noticed that the unicorn had raised her hoof into the air.
Using all of her might, the unicorn chanted, “Silly elephant go away. Disappear so we can fly away!”
Within moments, the elephant disappeared. Nate was relieved that they could continue their journey.
The unicorn flew them to a beach. At the beach, Nate and the unicorn met a mermaid named Kate. Nate, Kate, and the unicorn got a tan, built sandcastles, and went swimming. Kate the mermaid shared her starfish and seashell collection with Nate and the unicorn. Then she took them to the best place to watch the sun go down.
“I could sit here all day!” Nate exclaimed, as he stared at the horizon.
“You can visit anytime,” the unicorn said with a smile.
All of a sudden, Nate noticed the time. He had to be home ten minutes!
“I’m gong to be late!” he cried.
“Don’t worry. I will get you back on time,” the unicorn promised.
The unicorn flew over tunnels and waves, valleys and lakes, rivers and streams. Even though Nate knew he had to be home, he didn’t want his journey to end. He wondered for the first time if this was a dream or real life.
The unicorn flew Nate right to his room just as the sun was rising.
“This was the most magical journey of them all,” the unicorn said, “and I am so glad you came along for an adventure with me. I will always protect you, Nate.”
Nate had already fallen asleep. He was so exhausted from the long journey. The unicorn flew silently out of the window and into the sky.
When Nate awoke, he thought his adventure was a dream. Then he felt something underneath his pillow and lifted it up.
There on Nate’s bed, the unicorn had left a snow globe of him, Kate and the unicorn at the beach watching the sunset.
“The dream must have been real!”
Completely awesome! You have inspired me C.J. I teach kindergarten and think your story is wonderful.
Adorbs!! Love this book place and this book! And so funny that he loves home so much he wants to live with his parents at 20! Good luck w/ that in the future! Hehe!!!
Love the concept of book writing for children. Love the story CJ! 🦄
Fun story, and what a remarkable son you have. I also love the idea of a build a book!
Absolutely fabulous! Wonderful job CJ!!!
You should get this published. I would pay an unbelievable amount of money to have it
Great Book, C.J. !!!
Fantastic and fabulous! That’s a great story CJ. I love the artwork too. Just a whole lot of awesomeness 🦄🌈💞
Fabulously done with beautiful illustrations! CJ’s creativity has no limits. Love reading about all of your family adventures!
Gorgeous- what a wonderful business idea, and how perfect that it was so inclusive
What an awesome story! I hope CJ continues to write about adventures and unicorns and mermaids. Way to go!!
If you make any copies, send one to the Library of Congress. We did this with a second-grade poetry book, and the kids remembered to ask about it on their 5th grade trip to D.C.!Very powerful stuff.
Absolutely LOVE this!!!
I love that he brought the blender with him!
What a great adventure, C.J.! Keep writing. One day we’ll see your name on a book in the bookstore.
bravo/brava…hip/hip/hooray for cj’s first published book.