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Keeping literature all in the family

Local mother and son team publish children's book teaching spiritual concepts


by: GARY ALLEN - Author and illustrator -- 'Isora and the Pearl of Wisdom,' written by Newberg mother and son Staci and Sean Vriese, was recently released. Vriese hopes to make the book available in local bookshops and libraries to use as a spiritual teaching guide for children. What started as a self-fulfilling plan became a family project for Staci Vriese and her 11-year-old son, Sean, when they released in September their book, “Isora and the Pearl of Wisdom.”

The children’s book, written by Staci and illustrated by Sean, “(Is) an undersea story about a brother and sister who find a magical conch shell that transports them beneath the ocean,” Staci said. “They learn of a missing pearl of wisdom and so it’s their prophesy to find the pearl of wisdom, so they go on this journey guided by these sea creatures to find the pearl of wisdom.”

She said the book is a metaphor.

"It’s written for kids of all religious backgrounds, kind of an allegory of a spiritual journey,”
she said. “So they are guided toward this missing pearl and learning lessons along the way, (including) kindness and forgiveness.”

She added that at the end they discover the purity of their own hearts and within themselves.

“They discover that the whole time they were looking for something outside, but it was actually inside yourself,” she said.

Staci said she wanted to write something she could use to teach her children spiritual concepts, without losing their interest. So she made it adventurous and exciting with lessons disbursed throughout.

Although his mother said the underwater theme stemmed from her love of the ocean and the pearl as a religious metaphor for purity, Sean said it was because of his dream job.

“When I was little my dream job was to become a marine biologist,” he said.

As for the process, he spent the summer illustrating to complete the final product, but said he got involved because his mother said it would be a good idea to have a mother-son team.

“And I already liked drawing animals, so I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll draw it,’” he said. “I never thought it would turn out like that. I thought it would be on notebook paper that we would just staple together.”

Instead of notebook paper, Staci used Amazon and the self-publishing tool, CreateSpace.

“It’s really actually an easy process for anybody who wants to write a book. In fact, for the most part it’s free,” she said. “Before, if you wanted to self publish you’d print 500 copies and hopefully sell them all. Now it’s print on demand. You don’t have to have a minimum order. I don’t think people are aware it doesn’t cost much to print your own book.”

For now, the book is only available through Amazon, but she said she hopes local bookstores and libraries will pick up a few copies.

For more information or to order a copy, visit www.isoraandthepearl.com.



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