CONCORD, CA (July 11, 2022) — Ryeson Bull, 6, and his mom, Shana, have written their third book starring Randall the Blue Spider.
The new book is titled “Randall the Blue Spider Tries Honey Cakes.” In it, Randall learns that trying new things can sometimes lead to fun discoveries.
Shana found out she had cancer at the beginning of the pandemic, and painful radiation treatments kept her bed-ridden for months. She took time off from her career as a freelance wine and travel writer and marketing educator to research publishing children’s books.
The idea for publishing a children’s book began when Ryeson was just 2½ years old and would tell his mom elaborate stories about Randall, a blue spider. “He’s very creative,” said Shana, who has lived in Concord since 2020.
Naming our fears
Their first book, “Randall the Blue Spider Goes Surfing,” was published in April 2021. It deals with naming our fears and overcoming them with simple coping strategies. The second book, “Randall the Blue Spider Plays Pretend,” deals with using your imagination and standing up for yourself.
Professional illustrator Brady Lovell used Ryeson’s drawings of Randall to create the illustrations for the picture books. They became No. 1 best sellers on Amazon in six categories. He’s also added a cast of adorable bug friends to help tell the stories.
All the books deal with social/emotional learning. The newest book addresses an issue close to Ryeson’s life experience as a child with cystic fibrosis. The disease impacts his lungs and his pancreas, making digestion difficult. He needs to eat more than other kids and also takes enzymes to aid his digestion.
A growth mindset
“Mealtimes became a source of stress,” relayed Shana. “We try not to use the term ‘picky eater’ because if you think you are a certain way, it stops your from trying new things. We try to establish a growth mindset instead.”
They also encourage playing with food to help Ryeson become more comfortable with the sensory elements of different foods.
In the new book, Randall learns to be open to trying new foods – just as Ryeson has. It’s a great book to share with any kid who needs encouragement to try new things.
The authors will host “Bugs and Beer, Family Creative Crawl” at Del Cielo Brewing Co in downtown Martinez 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, July 16. The free family event will also include a meet and greet with live bugs from the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, story time with the authors, coloring pages, a special kids menu by Del Cielo and a bug scavenger hunt.
To learn more, visit www.randallthebluespider.com.
Kara Navolio is a freelance writer, telling stories of real life heroes and interesting people for several local newspapers since 2015, including The Pioneer and Lamorinda Weekly. She is also the editor of a local magazine, Northgate Living, and her debut children’s picture book Everybody Can Dance! was released by Brandylane Publishers, Inc. in May 2019. She has lived in Walnut Creek with her husband for 30 years and is the mom of two now grown children.