(WXYZ) — The debut of a new children’s book is a dream come true for Michigan author Holly Michelle. She grew up in Rochester Hills, often spinning her imagination into words as she sat writing for hours at the kitchen table.
Now the seeds planted all those years ago have blossomed into “The Tales of Itzland, Whimsical Spins on the Seven Sins.”
The book is geared toward grade levels 3 through 5, but younger children are loving it too. The stars of the stories are colorful little characters who put a modern twist on the age-old seven sins that include the emotions of pride, envy, and greed. The ‘Itz’ take young readers on a journey through life lessons to promote truth, courage, and understanding to make ‘Itzland’ a better place.
“I wrote ‘The Tales of Itzland’ with the intention of creating technology-free together time for families,” says Holly Michelle, who is the niece of a WXYZ employee. “The rhyming verse is awesome for children to practice reading out loud. Full-page illustrations also help to promote visual observation and imagination.”
The Rochester High School and Michigan State University graduate began developing the ‘Itz’ stories more than a decade ago. But in the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic motivated her to bring the book to life as she maneuvered through the process of self-publishing.
“I was working from home for my day job,” Holly Michelle says, “so I devoted the usual two hours of daily commute time to finally turn the page on my Itzland dream.”
She collaborated with illustrator Alana Magdalene and couldn’t be more thrilled with the initial response to the book. Some children have already shared their own creative projects based on the ‘Itz’ crew. “It’s just so exciting to see kids embracing the little characters to spark their own imaginations,” says Holly Michelle. “That’s what books are all about, sharing a vision that can be a keepsake to inspire kids now and for generations to come.”
For more information or to order a copy visit Itzland.com.