The Kansas City Royals’ scintillating 2015 post-season run and World Series victory proved inspirational to two local artists, and they have now produced a children’s book they hope will inspire future generations.
The creators of the new “Grab Your Crown” book will host a launch party, selling and signing copies from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Chick-fil-A, 7500 W. 135th St. in Overland Park.
Artist Alysia Quisenberry is the daughter of the late Royals Hall of Fame relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry, and thus is a longtime follower of the team and the sport.
But author Krista Boan admits that she wasn’t a huge baseball fan before the local team turned the corner to greatness over the past two years.
“I’m that new Royals blood,” the 37-year-old former teacher from Stilwell said.
Boan said she, her husband and their four children decided to attend the World Series victory parade held Tuesday, Nov. 3, downtown.
“It was just glorious,” she said. “The weather was perfect and so was the production. But the most amazing thing was the spirit of the people. Other than my wedding, it was the most wonderful day I’ve experienced.”
Later that night, Boan said, she reflected on the phenomenon that brought so many people together “shoulder to shoulder — to come out from our own little cyber spaces and breathe the same air and soak up the sunshine together.”
She wrote a “long poem” about it that night.
“Our generation, we’re helicopter parenting these kids,” Boan said. “I tend to fight against the urge to prepare the road for my child. … Just like the Royals, they are going to experience opponents, challenges, defeats and discouragement. You wonder ‘What is the future going to look like for my child?’ You want to give them rainbows and unicorns and tell them they are the center of the universe and they can do anything, but then you know you have cancer and terrorism and things out of our control out there.
“I was boiling it down in my heart what the season was teaching me; what the team inspired in me. And it was that when things get hard, when the going gets tough and you feel defeated, you don’t want to rely on yourself to win, but look at the team. Zoom out to the bigger picture in your life.
“So the book shows a little guy in a paper crown and follows him through the parade day and encourages him to apply the resilience of this team to his future,” Boan said.
When Boan decided to write a book, she reached out to her friend Quisenberry to illustrate it.
“I love that it was about the bigger picture,” Quisenberry said. “Yes, it’s about the Royals and the parade, but it’s also about perseverance and glory and goodness after a hard time. It was such a beautiful image that I just had to do it.”
“Victory belongs to those who believe — that’s the message,” Boan said.
Quisenberry, a Prairie Villager who’s 36 and who has taught painting classes to young and old alike, had never before taken on a commercial illustration assignment, much less one that had such a tight deadline. The creators wanted to have the book out in time for Christmas, and they succeeded, working through Amazon’s on-demand, self-publishing website CreateSpace.com.
Quisenberry attended the parade separately from Boan’s family, and used photos she took and that were published in various places as guides for her watercolor illustrations.
“I liked reliving all those wonderful times,” Quisenberry said. “It was close to my heart. I loved the message of the book.”
While Quisenberry said she “worked (her) tail off” to meet their deadline, “It was not stressful. I lost track of time, and the next thing we know, we had a book.”
The creative team is now working to get the paperback into local stores and promoting it through social media at https://www.facebook.com/grabyourcrown and @grabyourcrownkc.
“I feel like I’ve been to graduate school in marketing the past couple of weeks,” Boan said. “I feel like we’re a small drop in the water of all the people inspired by this team. I’m hopeful it will be a little organic.”
Just 100 copies will be available for purchase at Saturday’s launch party, so there will be a limit of two per family. Books can also be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/dp/1519425295.