I’ve been having a lot of fun as an English teacher here in China, but my real job, and first love, is the Moo-Cow Fan Club.
For over 5 years I was the editor of Moo-Cow Fan Club Magazine, an award-winning educational magazine for kids. We refused to take ad’s, which is how most magazines make their money, so in the summer of 2008 we had to shut it down.
But we weren’t done with Moo-Cow and his friends. We started a new book series called “Rhetorical’s Oratorical’s” last year. The first book, Sword if the Ramurai, came out in December last year.
While in China we’ve been working silently on our next book, The Fuzzy Philosopher, and I am happy to report it is done! The book won’t be available for purchase until November, but now we are just trying to get the word out. We’ve been sending review copies out to interested bloggers and reviewers. (If you are one, or know of one let me know and I will be happy to get you a copy of the book.)
The books series is written for kids ages 7-10. In each story Moo-Cow and the gang start listening to a story from the old mysterious bear Rhetorical the Oracle. Rhetorical is a really good story teller and soon the gang finds themselves transported into the story itself! Is it just their imagination or has Rhetorical magically brought them to another time and place?
In the first book they go back to ancient Japan on the eve of a samurai battle. In the second book they find themselves in ancient Greece during the time of Socrates. It is Kiweenies dream to have a conversation with Socrates, yet when the time comes all that comes out is a squeak! Kiweenie finds himself more than tongue tied in the presence of his idol. They also discover they’ve arrived on the eve of Socrates’ doom and have to figure out if there is any way they can save the great man from his tragic fate.
It’s an exciting book (if I do say so myself) and combines and fun, fast-paced fictional story with real information throughout the book. Just as in the 1st book we have sidebars in every chapter that tell more information about life in ancient Greece. In this book we even have special philosophy sidebars in which kids learn, and can ponder about, philosophical ideas.
The funny thing is that that while I wrote the bulk of this book in America, Ryan and I found that many of the lessons in the book were applicable to the classroom in China. Ryan taught a few classes that related to topics expressly discussed in the book (like Plato’s The Cave). So while we intended it for American kids, we found out that it applies to Chinese college students as well. I guess that’s why Socrates is so well-known and his philosophy is still talked about today. It is fitting for a wide-ranging audience!
We’ll be having some book signings when we go back to America in February (in Long Island and Peterborough, NH. If you know of a good bookstore we should visit on the East Coast, please let me know). And mark your calendars for Nov. 9th, the official release date for the Fuzzy Philosopher, a new book by Becky Ances and Ryan Wilson!