Local children’s author’s book sales help feed hungry

Reid Kaplan has always loved writing. From screenplays to scripts for various independent films, Kaplan has used his imagination to craft stories since his days walking the halls of Masuk High School in the late 1990s.

But it was the birth of his daughter, Charlie, some four years ago that provided the inspiration for his latest creations — children’s books, the first of which was released just this week titled “Let’s Eat Together,” a tale of inclusion and acceptance through the eyes of a group of animals no one would ever mistake as best friends in the wild.

Reid Kaplan with daughter, Charlie.

“I love children, I love talking to them and listening to their ideas,” said Kaplan, who was born and raised in Monroe and recently moved back to town after a few years living in nearby Bridgeport. “I love my daughter, and I want to help make her a great person. I don’t think there is any more important role.”

So when Kaplan decided to shift his creative gears toward children’s books, he said he wanted to scrib stories that do more than just entertain, his books needed to also have a moral. “Let’s Eat Together” touches on so many, according to Kaplan, most important of which is bringing together those of varied backgrounds and appearance, with an understanding that being different is not only “OK” but also wonderful.

“I always remember sitting with my family reading books,” said Kaplan. “I think that is something that is missing today. I realize parents work, there are so many distractions, but families need to have that time together, sitting, eating a meal together and talking. This book also shows the importance of sitting together for a meal and spending quality time together.”

“Let’s Eat Together” focuses on different animals that would normally not be seen together sitting down for a meal.

“I want children, and parents, to see that everyone is different, but we can all sit together and get along,” said Kaplan. “We need more of that in the world, especially in today’s world.”

And Kaplan also longs to help feed the hungry, with proceeds from each book sold going to make as many hot meals of food the week before Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas as possible.

“We will pass out food starting in Bridgeport, and hopefully expanding to other neighborhoods,” said Kaplan. “The proceeds will provide a hot plate of turkey or ham, cranberry sauce, greens, rice, and a slice of pie. We are hoping to have enough to offer a take home plate as well.

“Our initial goal is to feed 100 families for week before Thanksgiving and 250 families for Christmas,” added Kaplan. “Our hope is to continue this monthly meal to help fight hunger. Too many children are forced to go to sleep hungry and that’s not fair. For every book purchased someone will eat a meal.”

Kaplan grew up in Monroe, playing sports around town as a youth and through his days at Masuk High School and into college at Central Connecticut State University. He graduated from The New York Film Academy in 2002 and began making independent films while working in marketing and sales for his families’ retail business.

In 2013, Kaplan married Kristen and their daughter, Charlie, was born the following year. After Charlie was born Kaplan began to write stories for children, and “Let’s Eat Together” is his first published children’s book.

But this new release is only the beginning for this prolific writer. Kaplan is currently finishing up work on his fourth book, titled Bull Frog. The second one titled “How Did That Mouse Get In Our House?!” is currently being illustrated, and the third book “Good Thing, Bad Thing” is ready for his editor.

“Buy a book, feed a family. When you purchase a copy through our website, we will be using part of the proceeds to feed those in need. Children do not deserve to be hungry,” said Kaplan.

To purchase “Let’s Eat Together” or for more information on Kaplan and his writing, visit letseattogetherbook.com.

 

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