Press Releases, Book Reviews, and More
- Sunbelievable Press Release
- Press Release I Want Cake New Jersey Mom’s Choice and Foreword Reviews Awards
- Press Release I Want Cake Florida Mom’s Choice and Foreword Reviews
- Sunbelievable San Francisco Book Review
- I Want Cake! Foreword Reviews
Sunbelievable By Jo Ann Kairys and Daniel Kairys, M.D.; Jo Ann Kairys and Frank Thompson (Illustrators). Read more…
This hilarious tale — for children ages 4-8 — is about a magical Sun imagined by two curious children at bedtime. But it’s not all make-believe. NASA’s Chief Technologist contributed facts about the real Sun.
Illustrations feature real children in brilliant, magical landscapes. This book combines wonder and imagination in a whimsical tale bound to delight children and adults.
Sunbelievable received the prestigious Mom’s Choice Gold Award® in 2012. That year, the book also won the Royal Dragonfly Award and the Purple Dragonfly Award, the Florida Publisher’s Association Gold Medal Award and the Indie Excellence Award.
Kids say and do the darndest things, right? And so often, they provide tender or hilarious or wonder-filled inspiration for picture books.One day I heard my granddaughters complaining about the rain as they thumped on the window. Eager to get outdoors, they waited impatiently for the storm to end. Suddenly, they pretended they were the rain. “SWOOSH! SPLAT! SWISH!” Their sounds were innocently poetic, perfect ingredients for a rhyming picture book. Putting it all together in story form is when the magic happens — a sound in just the right place, a vibrant image that brings the story alive, and characters who draw you right into their world.
I Want Cake! By Daniel Kairys, M.D.; Jo Ann Kairys (Co-Author and Illustrator). Read more…
I Want Cake! — for children ages 4-8 —begins with six-year-old Leen telling her older sister, YaYa, she wants cake for breakfast. Though at first YaYa resists the idea, together they quickly rope in their little brother Jaden for a playful multicultural adventure.
They try to get help from their Haitian mother and grandmother, their Cuban neighbor and their American Jewish father and grandfather. Each adult disagrees with the cake request and urges them instead to eat one of their own, culturally-preferred breakfast delicacies. Undeterred, the cake-for-breakfast team perseveres, even as the adults secretly delight in their escapade.
I Want Cake! has received the prestigious 2016 Mom’s Choice Silver Award® and the 2015 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Finalist Award.
Press Releases and Published Articles
- 2011 First Sunbelievable Press Release
- 2011 Second Sunbelievable Press Release — Updated
- 2011 Sunbelievable Dartmouth Article
- Living in Media Front Page Magazine Article Jo Ann Kairys
Awards and Reviews
- Florida Children’s Fiction Gold Medal Winner
- San Francisco Book Review
- Why Sunbelievable Delights Children of all Ages
I Want Cake! Media
- 2016 Press Release I Want Cake New Jersey Mom’s Choice and Foreword Reviews Awards
- 2016 Press Release I Want Cake Florida Mom’s Choice and Foreword Reviews
Awards and Reviews
Jo Ann brings years of writing experience to her work as co-author of I Want Cake! and Sunbelievable. With a master’s degree in public health, she has taught health professionals around the world, including extensive work in Russia and Central and Eastern Europe. Inspired by the rich textures and colors of landscapes abroad, and the culturally diverse backgrounds of her grandchildren, she began writing and illustrating stories to help them learn to read.
With no formal training as an artist, Jo Ann discovered fun and exciting ways to blend real photographs with digital art. She works closely with her son Daniel, a gifted storyteller and avid read-aloud Dad. In 2011, she founded Story Quest Publishing, LLC to bring her books into the marketplace.
In addition to her Haitian American grandchildren, Jo Ann Kairys and her husband also have three adopted children from both Native American and Russian American backgrounds, two grandchildren from Native American and African American backgrounds, and one grandchild born in Russia. The Kairys’ first book, Sunbelievable, released in October 2011, won five national book awards for storytelling and illustrations, including Mom’s Choice Gold Award®.
For more complete background information (pdf): Jo Ann Kairys Complete Author Bio
Daniel Kairys, M.D., a Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School graduate, works as the general surgeon for a small community hospital in South Central Florida. Daniel is a tremendous humanitarian with a natural love of teaching children. From a young age, he was an avid reader of both nonfiction and fiction and has always loved writing stories and poetry.
“I grew up reading and I’ve always had my head in a book,” he says.
He listens to his own multicultural, multilingual children making up stories, and on long commutes to work through Florida’s sugar cane fields, he “writes” the storylines for children’s books in his head. These formed the foundation for Sunbelievable and I Want Cake!
Dan developed a deep affection for Haiti’s remote villages where he spent summers as a medical student. His tremendous humanitarian spirit has led him back to Haiti several times as a surgeon and he was one of the first emergency responders after the 2010 earthquake.
Sample Interview Questions for Jo Ann and Daniel
- How did you come up with the idea for your books?
- Who are the characters in the books?
- Why did you choose those particular characters?
- The books are co-authored; tell us how that came about and what it’s like working with as mom and son on an exciting project?
- What’s the premise of the stories?
- Who is your audience for the books?
- You say your books are for children, yet you say that museums and educators are your ideal audience, can you expand on that?
- How did you illustrate the books being that you are not an artist?
- How did you partner with a NASA scientist?
- Do you have other books planned in this series?
- Will you be partnering with scientists in those books?
- I understand that the main characters in your book are from a multi-cultural family. Tell us about that.