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Thursday, February 29, 2024
‘River’s Perfect Christmas’ teaches kids core values
Becca Marshall and Al Huberts combined their skills to create "River's Perfect Christmas," a simple story that kids and parents can both enjoy. JULIA SACCO

Al Huberts has a mind for business and a passion for creativity, both of which came into play when working on his latest project, “River’s Perfect Christmas” — a children’s book.

When he first had grandchildren, he noticed “they would learn at an earlier age than I learned them. But there were other things that I was more concerned about,” Huberts told The Lake Report. 

The premise for “River’s Perfect Christmas” was inspired by Hubert’s upbringing with immigrant parents and his values around receiving gifts. 

“I think some people aren’t exposed to certain things at a young enough age. Not that (the book) is going to fix everything, but it can help,” he said. 

Huberts, president of Nature’s Aid, a natural health products company, is no stranger to combining his entrepreneurship with his imagination.

He’s written books before and even created a board game, Build-iT With Bryan Step By Step, which launched in 2018.

When deciding how he would approach writing this book, Huberts’ business mind activated.

“One of the best-selling books of the last six years, maybe even a little longer, is ‘Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site,'” Huberts said. 

He took inspiration largely from how the children’s book was written.

“The key to it was making it rhyme,” he said. 

The story features rhyming and simplicity, which appeals to both kids and parents. 

Bringing it all together are illustrations done by Becca Marshall. 

“Becca and I are partners in this: she’s not just the illustrator,” Huberts said.

Marshall also works as a high school teacher, Huberts said, so she understands the way children and young people process information.

“Seeing a lot of the students lately, it’s about coming back to those core human values, being a good person,” Marshall said.”This story pulls on that simplicity of ‘What’s the next good thing you can do?'”

Marshall’s husband, who teaches younger kids, provided some insight as well. 

“He told us kids are so attuned to your faces, so with some of the images we decided to zoom in a little more and try and play on how much a simple action can impact the change on someone’s face,” she said. 

“At the end of the day,” Huberts said, “it’s a pretty simple story.”

Huberts and Marshall had a long process of finding the best way to launch their book release.

“We’re looking at a couple of options, those options from a business perspective have merged a bit,” he said.

“The negative side is 10 years ago, there weren’t a lot Kickstarter projects, now there’s  thousands of projects so how do you stand out?”

Huberts’ ultimate goal, he said, is to go beyond just the book and build a solid audience based on this release.

The writing and illustration duo have put together a website for supporters of “River’s Perfect Christmas,” which will inform you when their Kickstarter page is live and instruct them how to get a copy of the book. 

“It is going to be a combination of a funding site before the book comes out. You don’t need a lot to get momentum and Niagara-on-the-Lake has a lot of grandparents,” Huberts said. 

“River’s Perfect Christmas” would be a great gift for grandchildren, children and loved ones while supporting a NOTL author. 

Find the webpage at riversperfectchristmasbook.com.

juliasacco@niagaranow.com

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