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Through Individual Ingenuity

Author Interview
Edward Martin Polansky Author Interview

Oscar the Osprey follows a newly hatched osprey who has difficulty relating to his peers because of his handicap and must face a threatening winter world alone. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration goes back over 35 years, and emanated from a trip to the Royal Gorge in Colorado with my family.  While walking across the gorge suspension bridge that was 1000 feet above the Arkansas River, my oldest son remarked that it would terrible for a bird to be afraid of heights.  He sympathized with the problem because he had a fear of heights.  The story about a bird having that problem was the idea that I found intriguing and it led to finally formally publishing the book 30 year later.

Oscar is a charming character. What were some driving ideals behind his character’s development?

A good children’s book should have, in my opinion, likeable characters, a strong moral behind the story, and be readable on multiple levels.  That is, it should be interesting to a non-reading young listener, challenging to a young reader, and interesting to a grownup.  Dr. Suess was a master of this technique.  I tried to combine those elements in telling the story about Oscar’s handicap and how he learned how to deal with it.  The moral of Oscar’s story is that we all have to overcome hurdles in life, not through miracles, but through individual ingenuity.  

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Sibling rivalry, overcoming personal limitations, dealing with life’s dangers, handling ridicule… all common problems of growing into adulthood.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’ve written two additional books (through AuthorHouse) in the Oscar series, the second one focuses on his relationship with his brother and the third with his sister.  All of the books, I hope, followed the basic premises of the first Oscar book.  The books are available on-line through AuthorHouse, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I had originally planned on completing a trilogy, but now I’m working on a fourth book in the Oscar series, which should be available in early 2021.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

The book is set in the Tetons Mountains and begins with the newly hatched Oscar and his difficulty with relating to his parents, peers, and surroundings because of his unusual handicap. He not only suffers humiliation as a result of it but he faces serious limitations to his normal development and ultimately his ability to survive in the wild. It is about how he compensates for his handicap, the animals and dangers he encounters, and the fact that he is faced with how to survive the unfamiliar bitter cold and threatening winter world.

Oscar the Osprey: The Bird Who Was Afraid of Heights

Oscar the Osprey: The Bird Who Was Afraid of Heights by [Edward Martin Polansky, Jean Rosow]

Oscar the Osprey follows a year in the life of a newly hatched osprey. This wonderful children’s book takes readers through a full year of life following a young bird named Oscar, with each chapter taking up a season. Oscar is different, and other birds make fun of him for it, but he learns to adapt to his impairment and survives the winter in his own unique way.

This is a wonderfully educational book that will teach young readers many things about ospreys. This is an inspiring coming of age tale that I really enjoyed because Oscar was left to overcome his inequities on his own. This conveys a fantastic lesson on self-reliance that is not often taught in children’s books. Readers will learn many things about birds, and all the educational elements are delivered within a heartfelt story that follows Oscar’s journey. Readers will immediately connect with Oscar, not only because he’s the underdog, but because of his amazing outlook on life and his amiable personality. The illustrations were all black and white sketch art that was very fitting for the story and simply charming.

Author Edward Martin Polansky has written a children’s book that reminds me of classic children’s literature stories. This thoughtful and inspiring tale educates as well as it entertains and will surely delight young readers. This is perfect for readers moving on to chapter books, or a great story to read to your child at bed time.

Pages: 50 | ASIN: B0793PK7RT

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