Strange creatures, vivid colors and space travels are not typically associated with books about grief, but these are ideas Adam Sanford used to transform his pain into art. When he and his wife lost their infant son, Samuel, he turned the traumatic event into a sci-fi adventure children’s book titled “Samuel Shootingstar.”
His book has been published by Jumpmaster Press and is currently gaining attention.
The real Samuel was given a life-limiting diagnosis during the pregnancy, and when the labor began Dad and Mom knew they were not going to have their much anticipated, joyful delivery. Sanford says the experience was a strange juxtaposition of trauma and beauty.
“It all happened during the shelter in place order.” Sanford said. “We couldn’t have anyone at the hospital with us, not even our parents or Samuel’s brothers. We spent 12 precious hours in his presence cradling him, bathing him, singing to him and crying over him. Because his life was brief but beautiful, we called him our shooting star. ”
Sanford is an award-winning artist, a certified art educator and now an author based in North Georgia. I have earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing from the School of Art and Design at Kennesaw State University.
As an illustrator he has worked with performers, authors, conventions, photographers and media companies across the country and internationally. Sanford was born in Dalton, graduated from Dalton High School, teaches digital art for Dalton Public Schools at Hammond Creek Middle School and now resides in Murray County.
He is a husband and father of four boys, Samuel included. His sons of him are his favorite source of inspiration for all his work of him. Readers can find out more about Adam and his work from him at adamsanford.com.
The beautifully illustrated book is more parable than straightforward telling of Samuel’s life.
Samuel Shootingstar is traveling the galaxy searching for a new home for his best friend Luna Bunny. Along the way they meet many strange creatures, and it is often hard to tell which are friends and which are foes.
While they may feel very small in a big universe, together they learn that trust and friendship can persevere through seemingly insurmountable obstacles. This book is for anyone who has ever had a difficult time navigating the ups and downs of life.
“This is a very personal thing for me, but I hope this book will be a comfort and encouragement of hope for children and families going through tragedies or hardships,” Sanford said.
The book has recently been featured by a number of local and out of state news organizations and will soon be featured on the Reading With Your Kids Podcast.
Readers will soon find the book at most online bookstores or go directly to www.jumpmasterpress.com/shootingstar to order now.