Published in December 2015, the book explains why 'what goes up must come down', such as kids who jump up, a ball thrown in the air, or an apple falling from the tree. It also explains how gravity affects the planets, our own moon and the rise and fall of tides.
The book is for ages 6-11, with the expectation that adults will happily read it to younger kids, while older kids will read it on their own. The end of the book has a simple 10-question multiple choice quiz that reviews the main points.
Larry believes "Gravity" is an entertaining and educational book for children and his family think it’s out of this world. “My grandkids (ages 3 to 9) love the book (albeit the two youngest mainly for the pictures),” he told me. “Their parents do, too; they are especially pleased with the dedication: For Eli, Iris, Maya and Asher. They are my gravity.”
The Inspiration For Gravity
“There were two sources of inspiration for “Gravity”: my medical career and my grandchildren,” Larry explained. “As a lung doctor I wrote physiology textbooks for medical students and doctors. Pretty deep stuff that required clear explanations.
“As a grandparent, I’ve had the pleasure of reading countless titles to our four grandkids. From Seuss to Sendak, from monster trucks to Curious George. Pretty simple stuff, but somehow in one reading session the subject of gravity came up. It might have been when one of those monster trucks fell off a cliff.”
My six-year-old granddaughter asked me, “Grandpa, what’s gravity?”
“Well,” I said, “when you jump up it’s what makes you come down.”
“Huh? Nobody makes me come down.”
I thought, if I can explain oxygen physiology to doctors, shouldn’t I be able to explain gravity to kids? After all, I am a writer, so I decided to write an illustrated book on gravity my grandkids could understand – my first children’s book.
Houston We Have A Problem
“The writing itself was enjoyable, but I soon hit a snag common to many children’s authors: I can’t draw," he said. " While drafting the text, and thinking about what I wanted to illustrate (e.g., child jumps up, child comes down; astronaut floats in space), I began hunting for an illustrator on the website freelancer.com. You submit a proposal and people respond with offers and samples of their art. The first one I tried didn’t work out but the second one was a winner, and her name (Rebecca Weisenhoff) is on the cover.
“ I also wanted some detailed photographs of a rocket launch, the space shuttle and other space objects, and for this I signed up to use stock photos from shutterstock.com. Both options worked out well, and the published book is about half Rebecca’s illustrations and half stock photos (including the great cover picture)."
Larry enjoyed the experience so much that he is taking the plunge and writing a second children’s book. With his feet firmly planted on terra firma, he is busy writing another science-themed kids’ book called “You Always Need Oxygen…Unless You’re an Anaerobe. A Child’s Introduction to Oxygen and the Air We Breathe.”
“I like this title because it conforms with the “Gravity” title, suggesting a series (which it could become),” he added. “Also, “anaerobe” is a scientific word, one you wouldn’t expect in a kids’ book, let alone on the title page. My hope is that it might spark the interest of parents to go to Amazon and click on ‘Look Inside’. If so, I hope they will be pleased with what they see.”
Where To Find "Gravity"
At warp speed, zoom across to Larry's author's page to find out more about "Gravity":