Buffalo public school teacher and children’s book author Roselyn Kasmire has released two new books, one of which stars former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed and team mascot Billy Buffalo.
Before I get to the book starring the Buffalo Bills duo, let me first backtrack a bit and tell you how Roselyn came to be where she is today. I sat down with the author recently, to find out how she got her start and ask her what inspires her. What I found out was pretty incredible.
Years ago, Roselyn began to teach, using original stories that were inspired by her students. The stories reflected any of the issues that they faced in their daily lives. “One day an older student told me that I should publish my stories,” said Roselyn. “So I set out to publish my first book called Adventures of Jasper – the moral of the book is moderation – too much junk food can be bad for you. I found it frustrating that kids didn’t know where their food came from. They also didn’t know what foods like artichoke and eggplant were. The book teaches kids about the importance of veggies while also learning about adverse reactions that junk food has on the body.”
Roselyn’s first book was well received, so she set out to publish a second book – The Misadventures of Magnus. The moral of that story was about perseverance and not giving up. It was after the book began to make its rounds that Roselyn started getting feedback from parents that were seeing her books on bookstore shelves and in the classroom – they loved the messages and the clever nature of the books, which were filled with colorful, playful words and imagery that spoke to the children. “I remember that I used to research other children’s books,” Roselyn stated. “And I was not impressed with the new books that were coming out on the market. I was a big fan of the classics – I wanted my books to be timeless, while reaching the kids through valuable lessons that would improve their lives.”
Roselyn’s third book is the sequel to The Misadventures of Magnus. It’s called The Misadventures of Magnus – The Curse of Frogitoo, and it deals with the issue of bullying. What is a bully? How do you talk about it? How do you get help? What happens when you bully back? “The book offers life lessons that are discussed in a way that kids can understand,” Roselyn explained. “The Mage series (more to come) is based on social issues. I’m in the schools and I see what’s out there… what’s going on.”
Finally, Roselyn’s latest book features Buffalo Bills’ player Andre Reed. Being a Bills’ fan herself, the author felt that she could reach Buffalo’s youth through their passion for their favorite football team. She reached out to one of her favorite all-time Bills players, Andre Reed, who loved the idea. Reed actually plays a character in the book – Billy Buffalo’s Big Catch. In keeping with her other books, this one is about not giving up. It stars Billy Buffalo (the team’s mascot), who is rewarded after trying harder to catch a football. Thankfully, Andre helps Billy to get his head back into the game. The Buffalo Bills signed off on the book because the organization also liked the message. “This book is Buffalo-specific,” Roselyn stated. “We have a great city. I’m originally from New Jersey and moved here when I was seventeen. I went to college and grad school in Buffalo, and found that the cost of living here was unbeatable. I don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck, can travel when I want, and actually just bought a house on the West Side that comes with a cottage in the back. Buffalo affords me the chance to live a great life… and I’m giving back to this city and the children through these books.”
As Roselyn talked about the city and the kids that she is helping through her books, she actually got teary eyed (that’s how much this stuff means to her). “I had a dream that one day my books would be published [very emotional] – to have books that I wrote that I could read to my students. I have a built-in audience and I get their feedback – it’s a feeling that I can’t describe – I’m actually doing it. To have people come up to me and say that their kids ‘don’t want to go to Junkietown’ (where kids with poor eating habits end up), then I know that my books are working. What could be better than that? Publishing books is not easy. I do all of my own promoting and hustling. It’s rewarding, but it’s very hard. I always have books in my car. My friends can see me coming from a mile away.”
As a reward for her work, Roselyn’s first couple of books won the Mom’s Choice Award, which is essentially a recommendation for parents and teachers. “I even write lesson plans for the books, which are available online,” Roselyn said. “The books are for the kids. But they are also for adults, who are always working with the kids to make sure that they are on the right path. If I can help the kids out with the issues that they face, and do it in a fun and effective way, then I will continue to write and publish my work. I have made these books very affordable, so that they are within reach of as many people possible. Some day, I hope to have these books as part of a national curriculum. In the meantime, I’m busy writing and publishing, traveling and promoting, and loving the city that afforded me the opportunity to own my own home and be part of such an amazing adventure.”
All Roselyn’s books are still available on Amazon, and at Talking Leaves and Her Story Boutique. You can also order the books directly through the author’s website by clicking here. The hardcover books are $15.