Mableton Counselor Publishes Book for Children Afraid of the Dark
Anthony Pearson, counselor at Sky View Elementary, was able to meld his passion of writing, psychology and children into his first published book, "Baby Bear Eats the Night."
Sky View Elementary counselor Anthony Pearson has had quite a busy year. In 2011, the American School Counselor Association named him one of the top 10 school counselors in the nation, he and his wife had their second child and he completed a book, “Baby Bear Eats the Night.”
The book is now published and the 32-year-old said he’s a little wiser because of it. The picture book industry is fiercely competitive, he explained. Having one’s book published takes persistence and the hard work to make the book as perfect as possible.
He said the book went through about 15 drafts.
The idea for the book came to him when he woke up in the middle of the night with a thought of the night disappearing. He immediately went to the living room to write a story inspired by his midnight awakening.
In the book, a little bear is afraid of the dark. He decides to climb a tall tree, cut a line in the sky and then eats the night. Nocturnal animals approach him pleading that he stop eating the darkness, explaining that they need the night to survive.
Little bear ignores their requests and keeps eating the sky until he realizes that eating the night is bad for everyone, including himself.
For Pearson, the story describes something he sees everyday as a child counselor: children’s resilience and creativity when approaching problems.
Eating the night or gobbling one’s fear is “kind of magical, but logical from a child’s perspective.”
Pearson said he is always writing and has written nearly 20 stories. He also loves psychology and children, so he was able to put meld his passions while writing this book.
“I’ve always loved psychology. I loved the idea of working with kids because I think that’s when you can make the greatest amount of change,” Pearson said.
He admits that being a counselor in South Cobb can be challenging.
“It’s that feeling of taking a spoon to the ocean. Sometimes you feel like you’re going against so much,” Pearson said, adding that he often reminds himself that “any progress forward is going to be progress. I can only use the time that we’ve got.”
This is a mantra Pearson applies to his personal life as well. He has two daughters, Ella, who is 3 years old and Cora who is 8 months old, and he spends time reading stories to them. Now, they have even begun reading his new book to him. Ella always starts with “Baby Bear Eats the Night by Daddy.”
Pearson said he is glad his daughters enjoy his book, which he hopes is another way for parents to “open a door to say there’s really nothing to be afraid of.”
Being able to publicize his book has been a great experience, Pearson said.
"I love going to readings and signings, to see the look on the kids faces as I read through the book. To see kids laughing and smiling to the silly ideas I wrote is amazing," Pearson wrote.
Baby Bear Eats the Night can be purchased on Amazon. It is published by Marshal Cavendish Childrens Books of Tarrytown, NY, with illustrations from Bonnie Leick.
Pearson will be the elementary counselor at the new Mableton Elementary, which opens in the fall.