Charleston native Jessica Hamilton (right) makes her debut as an author with the release of the children's book, Skye & Her Circle: The Fire Truck Adventure. A virtual reading by the author will mark the book's official release via Instagram (@skyeandhercircle) on Thursday, December 3rd at 6 pm.
Inspired by her own childhood adventures with her younger brother, Hamilton’s Skye & Her Circle: The Fire Truck Adventure is the first in the "Skye & Her Circle" series. The series takes young readers into the vivid imagination of a six-year-old girl named Skye who has a secret, magical circle that takes her to wondrous places. Each book embarks on a different journey for Skye and, perhaps one day, her brother, Billy.
"Growing up, I went on made-up adventures with my brother," Hamilton said. "We'd go to the woods behind our house and build little forts with blankets and whatever we could find, and go on adventures inside those forts."
Each book in the series will center around not only suspense and excitement, but also the world of grown-up problem-solving.
"Every child wants to be able to do things that make them feel older," Hamilton said. "In Skye's adventures, the adults she encounters treat her as if she is older and can help them solve the problems they're facing."
The book is also inspired by the colorful movie magic of 1964's Mary Poppins, which is evident in the book’s whimsical travels as well as its vibrant illustrations by colorist Michelle Jewell, the toymaker behind Finkelstein’s Center, and illustrator Nic Jenkins.
“The different phases of the illustrations went from doing linework, to full color, back to linework, and then realizing that I was excited to work on this project in any way,” Jenkins said. “I was grateful for the freedom to explore a more fantastical project rather than something more documentary-like.”
Skye & Her Circle: The Fire Truck Adventure is appropriate for 4- to 40-year-old imaginations. Hamilton’s hope is that readers take Skye’s words — “Whatever you imagine can happen” — to heart in their own lives.
Skye & Her Circle: The Fire Truck Adventure is available at Itinerant Literate Books (4824 Chateau Ave.) and Muddy Waters Coffee Bar (1739 Maybank Hwy.). You can also get the book on Amazon on release day, December 3rd.
Jessica Hamilton is a writer with a background in Early Childhood Education. She taught at James B. Edwards Elementary for five years and most recently at Oakgrove Montessori for six years. She is currently a part-time nanny to a lively boy, a tutor to three eager learners, and a proud aunt of two wild, creative, silly boys.
Nic Jenkins is an illustrator and performing artist (Infinitikiss, Grace Joyner, 2 Slices) currently settling into Albuquerque, NM by way of Columbia and Charleston, SC.