Once upon a time, there was a baby polar bear who was a very picky eater; there were two girls, Orelda and Corelda, who went on a cruise aboard a ship called the S.S. Rottensteamer; there was Orangie the orange, who wanted, more than anything, to be back among his friends on the orange tree in the orange grove; and there was a boy who liked to play and not go to bed at the end of the day because the night monsters were waiting for him.
If these sound like stories you might have read to your children or might want to read to your children, you're right. These are children's stories. But what is unique about the books these four stories came out of is that they are all self-published books. The authors decided they had stories to tell and they were good enough to be published and they went ahead and did it themselves.
And the stories are good, very good. They are fun to read (even for me), very well told, they have excellent illustrations accompanying them and the books are slickly produced.
Potato Soup, written and illustrated by Phil Weinstein, is a heartwarming story about a baby polar bear who is a picky eater and how his parents got him to eat soup with a whole lot of different vegetables. This story reminded me of the time I used to read Green Eggs and Ham to my son and for months afterward we used to repeat the idea that although we think we might not like something at first, if we just tried it we might end up liking it after all:
"We're gonna need some corn," the daddy polar bear said. "Corn?! I don't like corn!" the baby polar bear said. "I only like potatoes! Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes!"
"It's OK, it's OK," said the daddy polar bear. "We need corn to make potato soup." "All right, all right," said the baby polar bear. "I'll get some corn but I'm not gonna like it and I'm not gonna eat it!"
In this manner, the baby polar bear adds one vegetable after another into the soup and in the end ends up liking the soup and all the vegetables that went into the making of it.