While on his recent Saving Sailing book tour, Hayes saw a trend. Sailing grandparents would ask him to autograph his book for their kids and grandkids. That sparked an idea for a new series of sailing books for young families.
Hayes lifted the central character, Abigail, a 10-year old who spends summers sailing with many members of her family, from Saving Sailing. In the first story in the new series, Abi teams with Dad to tackle a windy day, conquers a capsize, and solves many other complex problems in ways informed by her time aboard boats.
But Hayes needed more than words to make Abi and her adventures come to life. So he has teamed up with renowned children’s book illustrator, Renee Graef, to create great images.
Graef has illustrated 70 books for children, including the Kirsten series in the American Girl collection and many of the My First Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Graef’s characters are lasting and loved, the life and movement she can bring to a page is unforgettable and inspirational. Graef is also an aspiring sailor.
The team is working diligently to bring rich, interactive experiences to the stories, focusing on real-world lessons, reachable goals, and with a clear call to action for families to go outside and sail together. Hayes and Graef will be blogging about their progress here at www.abikidsailor.com.