Marcia Amason came up with “While You Were Away…We Would Play,” a children’s picture book, in the very best way. With intentions of surprising her grandkids, she set up their stuffed animals in simple narrative scenes in their bedroom while they were gone. After a few times of coming home to see their toys set up in new and imaginative settings, the kids were thrilled to see what would happen next. For Marcia the game evolved into a long series of fresh vignettes of playthings that made irresistible photographs. It wasn’t long before she realized the “toy stories” would translate well into a picture book.

“While You Were Away” entices children with clever narratives and lovable critters, and it endears adults with atmospheric photography and its well-thought out scenarios and props. Readers can’t help imagining her grandkids coming home to such a fun-filled surprise, and wishing Marcia was their grandmother, too. It takes a heap of creativity and energy to come up with effective ways to grab kids’ attention in the digital age, but Marcia was up to the task, and then some. And thanks to the adventures of Lambie, Puppy, Love Rabbit, and Froggie in picture book form, it’ll grab their attention for the rest of their lives.

Link to purchase While You Were Away.

Enjoy a slide show of a few photos from the book.

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