Reaching for Rainbows – A uTales e-Book

Reaching for Rainbows

Nessa Morris, Author

Caroline Lee, Illustrator

uTales eBook, May 2012, Fiction

Suitable for: Ages 3 and up

Themes: Rainbows, Blind, Visual Impairment, Friendship

Opening “A rainbow,” said Betsy.  “It’s so beautiful.  “Where?  I want to hold it,” said Amelia, who is blind.   Betsy sees a rainbow and describes it to her friend, Amelia.  Amelia wants to touch the rainbow, but Betsy tells her that no one can touch a rainbow because it is just colors.  But, through a surprising twist, Amelia teaches Betsy that you can touch, smell, taste and feel colors in a way Betsy has always taken for granted.

Why I like this book:  Nessa Morris has written a charming book with an inspiring message about a visually impaired girl who teaches her friend how to “see” in her world.  I love this theme!  Nessa’s book will certainly encourage children to think and see in a new way.  Very clever ending.  Kudos to the author.  As you can tell from the cover, Caroline Lee’s illustrations are a feast for the eyes.  Each illustration is simply beautiful and draws the child into the story.

Nessa Morris is the director of a library that serves people with visual impairments. Before becoming a library director, one of Nessa’s favorite jobs was being a children’s librarian.  As the “Storytime Princess,” she enjoyed introducing puppetry to children. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children.   You can reach her by clicking on her website.

What prompted  you to write about a visually-impaired child?

[N] I work with people who have visual impairments.  I also write stories for children.  Combining the two was natural.  After I realized that there weren’t too many book with visually-impaired children as main characters, I just knew I had to write this story.

Did the rainbow idea come first, or a child who was blind?

[N] The idea of a color-concept story with a visually-impaired main character appealed to me, because the two don’t necessarily seem to go together.  The rainbow came about because it’s the ultimate way to combine colors and yet it’s also difficult to describe on a physical basis since it has no substance.  I tried to think of how I would describe it in detail.  The story just flowed from there.

What was your experience like working with uTales?

[N] I found out about uTales through a member of my critique group.  Sandra Hershenson, who had published her story Annie & Me.  After seeing her story, I felt that Reaching for Rainbows would be a good fit with uTales.  I signed up for a free trial, and read several stories.  Once I was sure that uTales was the route I wanted to take, I pitched the idea to the uTales collaboration group on Facebook.  Caroline Lee was interested in illustrating the story.  She showed me a few of her illustrations, and we agreed to work together.  Caroline did some rough sketches of her ideas.  After we agreed that the story was on the right track, she colored the illustrations, and Reaching for Rainbows truly began to take shape.  Caroline’s illustrations made the rainbow come to life in a tangible way.  Also, the rainbow belonged to both Amelia and Betsy.   I loved the idea that no one can reach a rainbow, but everyone can find a way to hold a rainbow in their heart.  After a bit of minor tweaking, the story was submitted to the uTales editorial panel.  It was accepted and published within a few days after submission.

How has the experienced helped you as an author?  Would you recommend other authors publish on uTales?

As a new author, it’s great to see my work come to life.  The best part is being able to read the story with my three-year-old daughter.  She loves flipping through and “reading” the colors to me.   Publishing on uTales is a much quicker process than with a traditional publisher.  You have the benefit of working one-on-one with an illustrator and the two of you set the pace.  Creating a book with uTales also means that you have greater artistic control over your work than you would have with a traditional publisher.  Since uTales uses an editorial panel, the finished book will be a quality product.  I would definitely recommend that other authors take advantage of the uTales free trial period, review the books and decide whether they feel that uTales publishing is right for them.

About uTales eBooks:   Click here to learn more about uTales children’s ebooks and to sign up for a free trial.  uTales was initiated by Swedish businessman, Nils von Heijne.  Emma Dryden, of drydenbks, oversees the Editorial Quality uTales Panel.  Authors and Illustrators are from all over the world and  form a unique community.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

36 thoughts on “Reaching for Rainbows – A uTales e-Book

  1. I have read this story and loved it. Loved how it visually showed rainbows are touchable.The colours are amazing in this and the story has a beautiful message.
    Thanks for sharing Pat.


  2. I love that you are reviewing e-books as well as print books, Pat. I have read Nessa’s story, which was poignant, clever and touching. So great to have a book with a visually impaired protagonist as there are few in the PB market. Lovely to read more about Nessa too! I am not surprised that her three-year-old loves the book so much!


    • Joanna, it was fun for me to review a few of the books. You and Nessa wrote books that demonstrate the quality of uTales. I especially enjoyed Nessa’s because of the theme and the illustrations.


  3. This sounds like a good book! I really like the book “Pet Washer” – it is a novel about a blind pet washer and a spoiled princess. I think you would like it! I am going to review it at the end of this week. I like the interview too! Ms. Morris has a great blog. I enjoyed learning about her book 🙂


    • Erik, glad you enjoyed learning about Nessa’s book. Beautiful book and story. Will look forward to your review this week. We need to see more books with protagonists who have special needs. This one really fits the bill.


  4. Another book with a main character that suffers some handicap from your famous collection. Thanks for introducing this story to us, Patricia. I can’t wait to read it. I guess I have to restart my membership to uTales again. I’ll have to check it out somehow. 🙂


      • Exactly! Always should be about ability rather than disability. Ability helps us overcome a disability by finding creative ways and inbuilt strengths and building self-esteem.


      • Very wise. Children don’t want to be seen for what they can’t do, but what the can do. Ironically, I was born with my right eye legally blind, although I see light and shapes. Teachers tried to restrict me from sports etc. and it made me very determined to prove them wrong. I didn’t know the difference, so it wasn’t a disability for me.


    • Vivian, I’m happyyou liked Nessa’s lovely story.

      Thank you for the blog award, I won’t be able to get to it until I return from a conference. I appreciate your including me.


      • Pat…I know everyone has so much on their plates…with summer, many are doing other stuff that they don’t have time for during the year. Please don’t feel compelled to post about the awards…your blog is such a special resource that I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your hard work. 🙂


    • Ruth, Nessa’s book has such a nice message. She’s part of the 12×12 group. Thanks I’ve received a couple of awards today. I appreciate it, but won’t be able to get to it because I’m leaving for a conference.


    • Myra, I really like what uTales is doing. It is an opportunity for an author to work with an illustrator, which rarely happens when you pursue the traditional routes. It also gives you build your platform. Nessa’s book is an excellent example of the quality.


  5. Pingback: A Moment Lost: Camping with eBooks « Opening a Can of Bookworms

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