215 Park Avenue South
New York, New York 10003
Let me introduce you to our book, "How Mama and Me Survived the Hurricane".
Naturally I encourage you to read it and hope you are moved by it. I also
want to convey how significant our story is, and how dedicated I am to it.
This book is absolutely based on a true story, our story, that I felt needed
to be written and now I propose needs to be read.
In it we sketch our memories of the long hours during, and many days and
weeks after our evacuation from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. We
start with the tumultuous morning that the hurricane was headed our way,
winding our way through emotions, traffic and mishaps to an increasingly
intangible idea of safety. While it is no high drama of the cliffhanger
caliber, our escape was definitely a run-for-your-life-think-later affair.
Our flight offers another version of that day to millions who have been
haunted yet curious about the circumstances.
The collaboration between my daughter and myself on this project was a
healing as well as creative process. Getting our story out between ourselves
meant getting it out first: facing this disruption of life. The next step is
getting it out to others. This part of our lives is taken from a child's
point of view and a valuable tale for other children as well.
I took into consideration the age level of children that would be reading
our book. As a mother I consider a certain book age-appropriate if it
comfortably matches my daughter's reading level while challenging her
somewhat with questions that lead to discussion. This book does just that
for children who read on their own but is interesting enough to hold the
attention of younger children who are read to.
While our story cannot be pigeonholed, it contains many stories within it.
At face value, it is a natural disaster story. We confront our worst fears
while using that desperate energy for survival instead of defeat. Despite
our fear, my daughter and I use our instincts to overcome and reach
safety, so it reveals a story about triumph.
It is a story about being a mother, it is a story about being a child. Our
concern with our pets exposes a touching interaction with animals that
teaches universal love and responsibility. This poignant story about a vivid
human experience draws you in so you not only relate to it, but become
captivated by it.
I offer you our personal tale for your captivation as well. I offer you a
piece of our life that has not yet officially concluded. This story is only
the beginning in our inevitable attempt to convert pain and hardship into
healing. We appreciate you allowing us to share it with you.
Blanka and Sabbath Peridot
Note: I envisioned the book comprised of nine sections, therefore I have
divided the enclosed manuscript in that manner. My seven-year old daughter
and I will alternate illustrating sections.
Now me and my Mom walk our dog down the long dirt road in front of our new home. Sweetie loves it here, and since she is part Akita and has thick fur, she likes the cold weather in Maine better than the humid weather down South. She loves running ahead of me and my Mom as we walk naming the trees around us and saving caterpillars from the road. Sometimes we complain how cold it's been getting lately in Maine. But I don't mind because that means the snow is coming soon and I get to play in it. I could never do that in New Orleans. And besides, when we walked Sweetie down in New Orleans, we used to complain how hot and humid it was down there! [...]