Jimmy started out as just that. A couple of years ago when my oldest son would ask me for the name of an athlete or movie character I began to answer with the name Jimmy if I didn’t know the actual answer just to kid around with him. He believed me the first couple of times because as we all know Dad’s know everything and are blessed with the wisdom to answer all questions. It didn’t take him too long to catch on to what I was doing though. “You say that name for every person I ask you about!”, he would say. Then one day he asked for a last name. Naturally I replied with “Jean Shorts”. He knew for sure that that wasn’t true, but did like the name. It made him laugh and watching him and my younger son laugh brings me joy.
Jimmy Jean Shorts began to make his way into more and more of the conversations I would have with my sons. I began to picture stories in my mind involving him and thought “maybe I should start writing some of this down”. That is how we have reached this point.
I picture Jimmy as a five to six year old boy who lives in a small, rural town based loosely on Jackson County, Florida, which is where I grew up. As some of us know all too well small towns tend to have less entertainment options and therefore kids have to be a little more creative and perhaps use their imaginations more in order to keep themselves occupied. It is this kind of creativity that can lead to some very entertaining stories.
The first book that I have recently published titled Jimmy Jean Shorts goes to the Jackson City Jamboree is intended to introduce Jimmy and his friends, welcome children into his world and teach them a lesson about life along the way. When we meet Jimmy he has just been put in time out by his mother. You see while at the Jackson City Jamboree last night Jimmy and his two best friends, Billy “Blue Pants” Butterfield and Susie “Suspenders” Sinclair, ran into the biggest and meanest kid in Jackson City, Willie “White Hat” Williams. Willie challenges Jimmy by saying that he bet he could beat Jimmy at the jamboree’s apple bobbing contest. What White Hat didn’t know was that Jimmy had something up his sleeve that might help him win the contest…or was it in the pocket of his jean shorts?
As you can see each character has something about them that they wear that they are known for. So much so that it becomes part of their name. The intention here, as the overriding theme of this book and hopefully future books, is to teach kids that they should embrace what makes them who they are.
I hope that you and your children find Jimmy’s story fun and worthy of having in your home library.