Children’s Book Series The Adventures of Harry and Friends
The Adventures of Harry & Friends™ is a new series of children’s books, grown from the award winning, “Harry & Friends Black Belt Principles Character Education Program.” Martial arts schools from around the world have been applying and teaching these life skills to their youngest students from the ages of 3 to 8, Since 1999.
Martial Arts Schools are famous for helping children develop confidence, discipline, respect and many other valuable life skills. Through this incredible book series you can access the same resources used by martial arts schools worldwide to teach
character education to your child at home.
Children’s Book Series, “The Adventures of Harry and Friends™ goal is to help young minds grow stronger and empower them through stories that will: Inspire their imagination. develop their moral compass, set positive examples both visually and verbally and prepare them for life’s challenges.”
Books in "The Adventures of Harry & Friends Series"
Book 1: The Day I Met My Best Friend
Book 1 in the Adventures of Harry and Friends children’s book series is about a boy named Harry, who moved to a new place. Harry is afraid he won’t make any friends but soon finds out that his new neighborhood is filled with lots of kids eager to become his friend. Readers join Harry as he learns to overcome his fear of not being accepted, learns valuable lessons of being himself, respecting others, and having confidence.
Author, Sarah Beliza Tucker cleverly engages readers right from the beginning. This book is relatable, fun, and packed with lots of valuable lessons such as how to be sensitive and empathetic to others’ needs, cooperate and negotiate, and converse with others.
This book is filled with authentic, inspiring examples of positive and fulfilling friendships that include all the ins and outs and ups and downs of what it means to be a friend.
Book 2: Harry's First Martial Arts Lesson
Book 2 in the Adventure of Harry & Friends Series children’s book series is about Harry’s first martial arts lesson. In this book, readers follow Harry along as he learns that martial arts is not just about learning new moves like punching and kicking but about treating others with respect and learning self-control. I love that this book teaches children what respect means, how to respect, and why they should respect others but, most importantly, how to integrate it into everyday life.
This book cleverly uses martial arts principles to encourage children wonderful lessons that will stay with them throughout their lifetime. Whether or not your child is taking martial arts, reading this book will entertain, engage, and teach your children some incredible life lessons.
Book 3: Harry Gets Into the Swing of Things
The 3rd book in the Adventures of Harry & Friends children’s book series follows Harry as he watches his friend Ricky’s Black Belt ceremony. The excitement of the ceremony motivates Harry to set a goal to earn his black belt. After the ceremony, Harry and his friends attend Rick’s party, where he learns about perseverance.
Harry learns that being able to persevere through difficult and rise above is the key to progressing in life. Integrated with comic book style illustrations, this book encourages kids to face their challenges.
This book about perseverance and determination are character strengths that are needed for completing any task or for learning a new skill. Not only is this book motivating but engaging and fun.
Where Can I Find "The Adventures of Harry & Friends Series?"
About the Author, Sarah Beliza Tucker
“Sarah Beliza Tucker has been working in Children’s Media for almost 30 years.
Starting as a Fox Kids Club actress and producer, she learned to hold the attention of children through media since her teens. She moved on to theater, animation and video game production.
She is dedicated to producing media that does more than entertain, but also instills life lessons all children need to succeed.
Her company, Ocean Aire Productions, has been helping the martial arts industry teach character development worldwide since 2006! She is a co-owner of a martial arts school with her husband, where she has been teaching and developing Character Education Programs for children for over 20 years.
Sarah created Harry the Red Headed Lizard as a creative writing assignment in the ninth grade, and he has been with her ever since, evolving into what he is today. All the characters and mentors in her stories are based on the children, teachers and parents she has worked with over the past 20 years. Sarah brings a sense of realism within the fantasy world, she gives young children a safe place to learn life skills and problem solving by connecting them with characters that they can relate to.”
Rapid Fire with Sarah Beliza Tucker
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Sarah: I’ve always dreamed of being a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I loved to write silly stories and little plays for my friends and family; I would even recruit my siblings and sometimes neighborhood kids to perform them. Years later, I dove into poetry but always turned back to scripts and short stories. It wasn’t until I was in Jr. High 7th – 9th grade when teachers and counselors began asking, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” My answer was, “I want to create!
I want to create worlds that someone can get lost in for hours, I want to write stories that will make people laugh so hard they cry. I also want to write tales that will terrify you and keep you questioning days after you read it. (I was going through my Steven King phase here…lol) I want to write stories, poetry and plays that will change the world!” I was, I believe, 13 years old.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
Sarah: From my Husband, Stan Lee, “I think these books will be incredibly successful with younger readers, because they are just as visual as they are verbal. Sarah’s background in film production shines through in her style of storytelling. The characters feel real and the reader really feels empathy for Harry as he faces and overcomes challenges.
As a side effect I think this series will really educate the public about the character development benefits of martial arts training for children at a time when children need self-discipline more than ever.”
Q. What was the most surprising thing you learned about creating books?
Sarah: I’ve learned that creating books is a whole new game from writing and developing scripts for theater or cartoons. But the one thing in common was the storyboard, the constant rewrites, and reworking illustrations to enhance the story on the page. You will find my style is more like watching a play or a cartoon unfolding or involving the reader, which are now part of the story as their own character in the adventure.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Sarah: What I think makes a good story is how it drawls you in. How a reader can become attached to characters as if they know them for real life, and start to care if they lose or win, or overcome a challenge they are faced at that moment. I want the reader to become empathic to the characters on the page. I want them to talk to and talk about the characters as if they are an important part of their lives.
A good story makes you think and react. A good story makes you feel emotions. A good story makes the reader see themselves as one of the characters or learns a lesson for them and is not just entertained.
Q. What advice do you have for writers?
Sarah: Don’t be afraid to put it all out there. The worst thing that can happen is nothing. So go for it. And find an amazing editor.
Q. Describe what your ideal writing space looks like?
Sarah: Apparently, I thrive in chaos, LOL, I write mostly from my dining room table which is not used to eat at but covered in stacks of children’s books and how-to books, and an insane amount of my own book drafts. I also find myself writing at my husband’s martial arts school surrounded by children who have no problem asking whatcha doing every 2 to 10 mins. LOL, and that’s okay because I am able to talk to my market in real-time and get feedback, which is awesome!
Q. What do you love most about the writing process?
Sarah: I love seeing the worlds I have created come to life and become important to others.
Q. Tell us about your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Sarah: My future plan is to Simi retire, get on my sailboat, and travel the world, searching for adventure and stories to add to my ongoing series. I can write from anywhere, and I love to travel. As for the next five years, I would like to see The Adventures of Harry&Friends series a success, along with its spin-off series, ‘The Adventures of Captain Karate Man,’ which will be a graphic novel for children 7 to 11 years old. I also have a Few more Children Book series in the works. One is on traveling the world on a sailboat.
Q. How did you become involved in the subject or theme of your book?
Sarah: My company, Ocean Aire Productions, has been helping the martial arts industry teach character development worldwide since 2006! I am a co-owner of a martial arts school with her husband, where I have been teaching and developing Character Education Programs for children for over 20 years. I created Harry the Red-Headed Lizard as a creative writing assignment in the ninth grade, and he has been with her ever since, evolving into what he is today.
Q. What inspires you as a writer?
Sarah: Everything…Inspiration comes to me in the strangest forms: From just sitting still looking out over the ocean… watching shrimp boats in the distance to people surf fishing or walking past. From taking a walk through an exotic rainforest to spot birds and animals not seen in the States and waterfalls on the other side of the world. From a child’s laugh to their interactions with each other…I like just to sit back and watch them play and how they decided to solve problems that may arise.
Q. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Sarah: I enjoy sailing, traveling, reading, watching movies, and documentaries, and eating amazing foods. 12. What type of books do you write? At this time I write children’s books. 13. What does your creative process look like? First the Inspiration, A problem I see that needs to be solved. Second I write down how to solve that problem; then, an outline starts to form.
After the outline, I write a very messy draft in which I rewrite over and over again… and again. From there, the character’s dialogue starts to form, and the interaction of the characters in the books start to come to life, after writing the first draft of the story. I storyboard it as you would see in making a movie. Laying out each page and writing in the details for my amazing Illustrator, so he knows what I see happing on each page to tie in the words and the images together as if the reader is watching a cartoon.
After that, my Editor helps me tighten everything up. Then we print samples, and I have about 50 kids, and parents read the books to make sure I am on the right path. From there, we fix any issue. Before we go to print. 🙂
Q. What do you love most about being an Author?
Sarah: Seeing what I created help someone, or inspire them. 15. Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author? Seeing the excitement and joy of my work/characters bring a smile, a giggle, and even acknowledgment of a problem solved by the reader.
Q. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with your readers about?
Sarah: Yes. As of now, These titles are available on Amazon: The Day I Met My Best Friend, Harry’s First Martial Arts Lesson, Harry Gets Into The Swing of Things (A Lesson in Perseverance).
Titles To Come later In 2020-2021: The Broken Toy (A Lesson in Self – Discipline), I Want To Go Home! (A Lesson in Overcoming and Facing Fear at a Sleepover), Finders Keeper…? (A Lesson in Integrity), I Quit! (A lesson Indomitable Spirit), Grown Ups Have Feelings Too! (A Lesson in Empathy) What Happen To Mom’s Vase? (A Lesson in Honesty) (Working title).
Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Sarah: I want to bring a sense of realism within the fantasy world, and give young children a safe place to learn life skills and problem-solving by connecting them with characters that they can relate to.
Q. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
Sarah: All the characters and mentors in my stories are based on the children, teachers, and parents I have worked with over the past 20 plus years.
Q. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Sarah: Book One: The Day I met my Best Friend: A Children’s Book on Overcoming Anxiety and Fear of Not Being Accepted, Building Confidence, and How to Show Kindness and Respect to Others.
Book Two: Harry’s First Martial Arts Lesson: A Children’s Book on Self-Discipline, Respect, Concentration/Focus, and Setting Goals.
Book Three: Harry Gets Into The Swing of Things: A Children’s Book on Perseverance and Overcoming Life’s Obstacles and Goal Setting.
Don't Forget To Join Sarah on Social Media!
Rapid Fire with Adam Ihle
Q. What process takes place in creating your artwork?
Adam: The first thing I do is read and re-read the story. I begin to map out the illustrations in my head as I read. If the image is complex, I will do some sketches, but usually, I just dive in. The Adventures of Harry and Friends series is unique as the books are primarily illustrated using Adobe Illustrator, which is vector-based artwork, but it also has hand-drawn elements as well.
Q. Are there any illustrators that have inspired the way you approach your illustrative work?
Adam: I am a big fan of old animation, Disney, Looney Tunes, Woody Woodpecker. The character designs and overall feel the cartoons have always inspired my design approach. I am a huge comic reader, and Neal Adams, Norm Breyfogel, and Jim Lee are a few artists I enjoy seeing artwork from.
Q. Which page was the most fun to illustrate? So Far?
Adam: Well, I really enjoyed the imagination scenes in the third book, Harry Gets Into The Swing Of Things. They are all hand-drawn in a comic book style and have a bit more vividness to them. It is a visual way to differentiate Harry’s real world and his imaginary one.
Q. How did you start your career as an illustrator?
Adam: Illustrating is actually my back up career, I am a sculptor by trade. For the past 20 years, I have worked in the entertainment field in one form or another. Creating props, special effects makeup, sets, and theme park elements. There are many of my pieces at all of the parks at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. I have also done work on HGTV and various commercials. As for illustration, it is something I have always done, drawing that is, so making money from it seemed to be the logical choice of work.
Q. Since creating artwork is your job, what kind of hobbies do you enjoy to relieve stress and help inspire your artwork?
Adam: I know it sounds weird, but I create all the time, artwork wise. It is something I just have to do, even if it’s just doodling on a napkin. I enjoy watching movies, and I get a lot of ideas on how to layout a page from camera angles used in films. I think in pictures so I will always be imagining a way a page or scene from a book should
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All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
* This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Sarah Beliza Tucker, in exchange for an honest review.