Friday, January 16, 2015

"David and Goliath with a Twist" by Benjie Herskowitz

David and Goliath with a Twist
(Bible Stories with a Twist Book 1)
by Benjie Herskowitz

David and Goliath with a Twist is the first book in the Bible Stories with a Twist series recommended for children ages 5 to 10. It is ON SALE for $1.99 (save $1.00) to 31 January. Also available: Passover with a Twist (also ON SALE for $1.99).

The author stops by today for an interview and to share an excerpt. You can also read my review.

The biblical story of David and Goliath is told through "clichés" which will tickle the imagination of your child. Clichés like "butterflies in your stomach" and "you could hear a pin drop" give new meaning to the story. Of course, each cliché is explained so that the child will understand its figurative meaning.

Joshua finished cleaning up his room and got into bed. His mother came in and smiled. "Joshua, you did such a nice job, would you like to hear a bedtime story?"
"Thanks mom! Please tell me the one about a mean giant and a brave little boy who saves everyone."
"That's the story of David and Goliath," she said. "It's all about a giant named Goliath and a young shepherd boy named David. It's a great story but it may be a bit scary- so I hope you don't get butterflies in your stomach."
"I think I'll be okay," said Joshua.
So his mom began…

Praise for the Book
"This is an excellent book! It is fun, educational and interesting. It tells the story of David and Goliath in a unique, fun and illuminating way. I love it that my kids like the book because I myself enjoy reading it so much. I is a great book for any child, Christian or not. I recommended this book to all my friends for their kids and they love it too!" ~ daniel
"Really unique twist to the story making it fun and interesting for kids (and even adults) of all ages. We love it!" ~ Tutor
"I love this book! It makes the story of David and Goliath fun and colorful. The kids will love the spirit of it and they will learn English in a fun way!" ~ Chani Walker

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Joshua asks his mother for a bedtime story, so she shares the tale of David and Goliath. Only she puts her own twist on it, using clichés to help tell the story. Joshua's active imagination conjures up the weirdest images as David stands up to the bully.
The use of clichés is a very clever concept used to inject humor into an otherwise serious story. Kids will cheer David along, while they learn a classic Bible story and some unusual English expressions as well. The illustrations by Darrell Mordecai are colorful and amusing and are an integral part of the story. I especially enjoyed the image of Goliath "getting their goat". And "succeeded with flying colors" is perfectly illustrated with fireworks! Not something I have thought of before!
A sure-fire winner; this one's bound to go off with a bang!

Interview With the Author
Hi Benjie, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book, David and Goliath with a Twist.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
The optimal age group is 5-10 years old, but older kids will enjoy it too.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I've noticed that sometimes children image things in ways adults could never fathom. So I thought: What if I took a classic story and showed it through a child's eyes - imagining zany scenes and situations? That would add a real fun twist to the story!
I also had read that bullying is a major concern in our schools and hoped to encourage the victims of bullying, by making them the hero of the story.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the book?
The idea for the book definitely came first. It was then just a matter of finding a classic story with enough action and emotion to allow a child to imagine it in a funny manner and at the same time, perhaps gain a positive message.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
The most difficult part in writing the book was limiting the possible additional zany scenes in the story.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope that the readers will not only get the message that bullying is not right, but also that seeing things in a slightly different manner can be both fun and eye-opening.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Once I had the general idea, it took me about two months to write the book.
What is your writing routine?
My writing routine is to always write down whatever comes to mind and then walk away from it. A short time later I review and evaluate those words, and then edit and change whatever is necessary, and then repeat as often as needed, until it all sounds just right.
How did you get your book published?
I got the book published after roughing out all of the illustrations along with the accompanying texts and showing the book sample to a professional publishing company.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
To go for it, but first make sure to show your story to a number of people who are willing to offer their honest opinions. This will help fine tune your ideas and message.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Besides reading, of course, I love creating! I draw, paint, sculpt - in fact, I am in the process of creating a series of sculptures based on the Biblical character of Lot's wife.
Fascinating! What does your family think of your writing?
My family is very encouraging, especially since I've based the book's characters on my own kids.
That's fantastic! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
As a child I loved drawing, sometimes even getting in trouble in school by drawing caricatures of my teachers. I also enjoyed movies and television and visiting the library. I would take my bike and have to somehow carry all of those books home with one hand on the handlebars and one holding the books.
Classic! Did you like reading when you were a child?
As a child I loved reading, as well as being read to.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I only realized that I wanted to be a writer when I had children of my own and wanted to share with them some of the way I saw the world.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Most definitely! I recall hearing a statement and imagining one thing when the speaker had meant something entirely different.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
The writers that have influenced me the most are assorted writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry, Stephen Crane and, of course, Dr. Suess!
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I love hearing from my readers. Most thank me for the fun stories, but also I hear from their parents who tell me how much they enjoy reading the books to their kids.
That's great! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I am considering continuing the With A Twist series of books, perhaps basing a new one on the Biblical story of Noah and the Flood.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Benjie, it's been a pleasure. Best of luck with your future projects.
Thank you!

About the Author
Benjie Herskowitz is a graphic designer living and working near Jerusalem, Israel. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, he worked on Madison Avenue in advertising and design.
David and Goliath with a Twist is his first published book, and has recently become an Amazon Best Seller. Though David and Goliath is his first book, he have been making up stories all his life - just ask his school teachers, wife and five kids!
The next book in the Twist series, Passover with a Twist, is also available.