CLINTON TOWNSHIP — In time for St. Patrick’s Day, a local author sets the scene for seasonal fun.
Jason Ryan, of Clinton Township, published “Fist Bump” in March 2021. It was his first children’s book. The second, “The Capture of Lanny the Leprechaun from Limerick and the Fantastical Food Fight that Followed!” was released this February.
The 48-year-old Ryan has lived in Clinton Township for 11 years.
“It started with reading to my kids, and for both of them, I would guest read in their elementary schools,” he said in response to how it came about to work on the books.
Ryan, who works in sales, has a 16-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son.
“For the past four of five years, I’ve helped my son build traps to catch a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day morning,” he said. “In the book, it’s about a third-grade boy with an older sister, so I channeled my own experiences as a father.”
The food fight book, 30 pages long, covers the story of a young boy who captured a leprechaun on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day.
“The boy doesn’t realize he caught the elusive Lanny from Limerick until later that day when the leprechaun jumps out of the boy’s lunch box in the cafeteria,” a description of the book on Amazon states. “An all-out food fight of epic and fantastical proportions ensues.”
Ryan, whose great-grandfather was born in Ireland, said the St. Patrick’s Day book centers on a young boy who, one year, sets a simple trap with gold coins and chocolate in an old lunchbox.
“The dog sees him and (he) is locked inside and in all the commotion, the mom sends the boy to school with the wrong lunchbox with the leprechaun inside of it,” Ryan said. “He jumps out in the cafeteria at lunchtime and causes a big food fight.”
He hopes the St. Patrick’s Day book is one that parents, teachers and librarians bring out around the holiday, adding to the festivities. St. Patrick’s Day is March 17.
“Both books are fun to read, with rhyming and tongue twisting,” Ryan said. The illustrations are full-colored and vibrant.
In looking around the Main Branch of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library in Clinton Township, Ryan said he noticed seasonal books next to the puppet area.
“I always thought the selection of St. Patrick’s Day books were pretty limited, so I thought it would be fun to write a second book since there wasn’t much competition,” he said.
Prior to hiring an illustrator and publisher, Ryan read “Fist Bump” to a first grade and kindergarten class at Ottawa Elementary in Clinton Township.
“I wanted to make sure it was well received, and that it was a good test and they loved it,” he said. “I emailed the book to three teachers to review it, that I used on the back cover.”
“Fist Bump” is 38 pages and is described as a funny, entertaining and tongue-twisting book that rhymes its way through an encouraging message of friendship and acceptance. It is intended for children ages 4-10.
“’Fist Bump’ is more of a message of friendship and acceptance,” Ryan said. “The idea for that one came to me when I was at the gym. I saw someone fist bump someone, and I wrote down a few lines. I then decided to write the book.”
To purchase the books, visit fistbumpbook.com and foodfight-book.com. Currently, “Fist Bump” can be checked out from the Main Branch of the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.
The illustrations for each book were completed by Terry Whitmore.