5 Questions with former Delray teacher, author Barbara Jackson

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Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you became interested in teaching and then writing a children’s book series.

Since high school, I wanted to be a teacher, but I wasn’t immediately able to make this dream a reality. Once my two daughters started school, so did I. I became a preschool teacher and taught at St. Paul’s Day School for 20 years. I dabbled with writing children’s books a long time ago, but never pursued it. When my first grand-daughter was born, my older daughter, Andrea, was struck with an idea to start this children’s book series, and she wanted me to author the books. Reading to my children, then my students, and now my grandchildren is something I have always cherished, and now I get to share my stories with everyone.

Tell us about your book series, “The Adventures of Lucky.” How long did the process of writing the series take and what was the inspiration?

Writing the books was the easy part! I wrote most of them when we first came up with the idea. It’s taken over four years to bring the rest of the project to life, including concept development, design, illustrations, earning our official Trademark, prototypes, manufacturing, and production.

The inspiration for The Adventures of Lucky® originated in our family many years ago. When Jamie, my youngest daughter, was little Lucky was her favorite stuffed animal. He joined us on a family vacation one summer, and went missing from the hotel room. Jamie was devasted, and we frantically searched for him, which is a scenario many parents can relate to. Thankfully he was found! Turns out, he had gotten twisted in the bedsheets and was washed with the hotel’s laundry. A few years later, Andrea retold this story of Lucky for a 6th grade school project. Quite a few years after that, we were brainstorming ideas for this exciting new project, and Andrea and I instantly knew Lucky would be the perfect character to tie it all together. We have worked hard to bring Lucky’s story to life once more. The whole concept for the series was founded with the intention of making it more interactive for the child. Each set comes with a board book and 3 plush toys, including Lucky (dressed ready for his adventure), his mode of transportation, and another character or item from the story. The plush toys can be played with as the child follows along with the book, and some even feature noisemakers to add another sensory level to the reading experience. Lucky is a fun and slightly mischievous character, and each book has a flap page featuring where he gets stuck on his adventure (the first one being in the washing machine). Some of the other special details in this series are the star footprints Lucky leaves behind and the removable luggage tag on each set, which can be used on the child’s own adventures.

You co-authored the books with your daughters. What was it like working on the series with them?

We have each taken on our own individual roles, which suit our different talents and personalities just right. Andrea came up with the concept and is involved with many of the details and planning, working closely with our illustrator, I have written the stories, and Jamie manages the business and marketing side of things. Working on this together has allowed our dream to become a reality. Every step of the way, both challenges and successes, has brought us closer together. It’s a mom’s dream come true!

What is one of your favorite memories from working at St. Paul’s Day School?

Being with the children every day, watching them learn and grow throughout the year, was the best part of my job! It was truly an honor to be guiding their first experiences in a school setting.

If you could take Lucky on any adventure, what would it be?

The true story of Lucky, which the first book, Lucky’s Island Adventure, is based on, is hard to compete with! Still, we have many fun ideas for his future adventures. I am really looking forward to taking Lucky on a winter trip!