Frieda B. Herself, published in March 2010 is the foundational book of the series. Here the reader is introduced to Frieda – the world’s biggest dreamer – and Zilla, her fuzzy little dog and loyal sidekick. In following Frieda through her adventures of imagination, the reader is encouraged to Dream Big and Believe in his/her own free-to-be story. The moral: You are Free to Be You.
In Frieda B. Meets the Man in the Moon, Frieda and Zilla take a trip to the moon “to see what it’s like where the rockets and astronauts go.” Inadvertently, Frieda crash-lands and hurts the Man in the Moon. The rest of the story follows Frieda as she not only apologizes, but does more than expected, to make full amends. This book combines imagination and adventure (and humor) with great empathy toward resolving conflict honestly and wholly. The moral: You are Free to Be True – to yourself and others.
Frieda B. loves books. And Frieda B. and the Zillabeast begins with Frieda and Zilla literally entering a book of classic fairytales. Yet with each turn of the page, Zilla grows bigger, bristlier, and growlier – until a hair-raising encounter with Little Red Riding Hood puts everyone on edge. What turned him into a Zillabeast? And what can bring him back to the sweet Zilla we all know and love? The answers to those questions reveal a lot about the importance of putting others first… and the love we welcome in when we do. The moral: You are Free to See Kindness and Be Kindness.
Can a jar of magical ink turn Frieda B. into the writer she dreams she can be? Frieda scrapes together every last penny she owns to buy a jar and see for herself. But when that jar of ink shatters, does her dream shatter, too? Frieda B. and the Finkledee Ink is a story to help children of all ages heartily believe: When it comes to our dreams and our natural gifts, there’s nothing we need to buy or get. Nope. Everything is already inside us. What we do need is dedication, perseverance, and the belief and support of others. And – more importantly – the belief in our very own selves. The moral: You are Free to Believe in your gifts, and the gifts of others.
Frieda B. and Zilla delve into imagination and adventure in Frieda B. A Great Day at the Dog Park. As they break for a snack, Zilla notices a boy in the distance who looks sad and lonely. Zilla kindly approaches. But the boy lashes out, yelling for Zilla to go away and leave him alone. Frieda implores her parents to take action and yell at the boy who is “bad, bad, bad, bad.” In response, her dad takes her hand and opens his heart… showing Frieda and the boy – and the reader – that authentic connection, compassion and communication is the pathway to unleashing the hero in us all. The moral: You are Free to Be a Hero, by seeing with your heart.
Presentation Structure. I first work with the school or organization to determine the key presentation theme(s) and book(s) I’ll be using during my visit. For the visit itself, if the school has a large projection screen and an A/V set-up that accommodates PowerPoint, I find that projecting the book(s) onto a big screen helps to better engage a group of students. I highly encourage this for all groups, but especially those larger than 30. I begin by reading through the chosen book(s), pointing out images and text of relevance to the chosen presentation theme. Following the reading, I delve into the finer points of the chosen theme, using interactive demonstrations with the students to keep thing fun and engaging. Finally, if/when time allows (or when asked to do so) I open everything up to questions and comments.Pre-Read and Pre-Sell. As for teachers and kids reading the book(s) prior to my coming, I encourage this (and we’ll happily donate a full set of Frieda B. books, signed and dedicated to your school, as soon as a visit is scheduled). It helps the students to know the stories, to think about and discuss them, so we can really dig in when I arrive. Also, I request the pre-selling and pre-signing of books before I arrive, for two reasons: 1. This helps me determine how many books to ship ahead/bring with me to the visit; and 2. it frees up my time from signing on the day of the visit, allowing more time to work directly with the staff and students. For every school I visit, we create a personalized pre-sell flyer for the school, in pdf format. This makes it easy for the school to make and distribute copies. A day or two before my visit, all we need is an email with a listing of how many books have been pre-ordered, and to whom each book is to be dedicated. Then I can arrive with everything signed and ready to go.
Skype Author Visits. I’d love to visit your school and students via Skype. As I like to ensure there’s enough time to discuss not only Frieda B. books but the importance of dreaming and believing in one’s own free-to-be story, I don’t offer sessions under 30 minutes. Skype visits are great fun, and scheduled based on availability. Fees are $50 for 30-minute sessions, and $75 for 45-minute sessions. For questions or requests, send us an email at info@FriedaB.com or give us a call at 860.763.0330.
One Last Note for Educators: I’ve met some extraordinary teachers and administrators in this work. And I have the utmost respect for the incredibly difficult job you tackle – with joy and dedication – on a daily basis. I first want to thank you for what you do. Please know there are many who love and admire you for it, myself very much included. And as much as I love to use Frieda B. to inspire students, I love to do the same for adults. Because sometimes we, too, need permission to cut loose, shake off the daily-daily, laugh, hope, dream, and be reminded of our own important story. I can tailor something just for you and your fellow staff, or your can choose from the Educator Support sessions I’ve already developed. If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, just let us know at info@FriedaB.com. I’d be honored to be asked.