When her 7-year-old son started asking rather deep questions about life a couple of years ago, Lynette Gaona decided to come up with answers by writing a children’s book. Called I Am Here and illustrated by artist Sara Wilcox, the book connects personal strengths and human emotions with elements of nature, using the bright sun to show joy, for instance, and the light of the moon to show inner guidance.
“It’s about inspiring kids to live their best lives, to celebrate themselves,” said Gaona, a Santa Barbara native and a mother of five aged 9-22. “It connects their feelings with nature so they can remember all of the amazing qualities that they have inside.”
In addition to her own experience as a mother, Gaona has been a vocal coach for 15 years, so she has met plenty of parents and children during that time. “Young kids can ask questions that are so deep,” she said, “like, ‘What’s your purpose? Why are we here?’” She hopes the book will become a tool to help children through the rougher patches in their lives, but also serve as a path to exploring meaningful conversations between the generations. “You can pick a page every night, and it should spark some conversation between parents and kids,” said Gaona, who sings with Spencer the Gardener, David Courtenay, and her own duo, The Revelators. “It always amazes me how kids can connect to things and tap into themselves.”
See iamherethebook.com or purchase a copy via lulu.com. Lynette Gaona will be signing copies of I Am Here on Sunday, July 3, 4-6 p.m., at Breakfast Culture Club (711 Chapala St.), where live music will also be played.