Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If I Could Be Anything by Kevin McNamee

Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome children’s author Kevin McNamee who will be talking about his picture book, If I Could Be Anything.

Kevin McNamee is a writer and poet living in Yonkers, NY.   He primarily writes for the children’s market.  Kevin’s published work includes the picture books, If I Could Be Anything, The Sister Exchange, Lightning Strikes, The Soggy Town of Hilltop and What Is That Thing?   

Kevin’s poetry has been published in the collection, An Eyeball in My Garden: And Other Spine-Tingling Poems.  

Kevin, what is this book about?

It’s about a child using his imagination to explore both his world and himself.  The main character sees himself as different animals in different environments.  After picturing himself in all these different situations, he finally decides where he would really like to be.

Kevin, why did you write this book?

I wanted to write about a child going on a journey, only to find what he is seeking right where he started.  Ultimately he decides that he want to be exactly who he is and exactly where he is.  Using imagination to convey this journey seemed to be the best way to get the message across.

And what is the message?

It’s okay to just be yourself and it’s okay to be happy with what you have.  I think it’s an important message to remember whether you are six or sixty.

And you think young children will get that message?

Absolutely!  Children are able to absorb many things, good and bad.  Ask any parent who has ever had a child repeat something they said I’m sure they’ll agree.  It’s never too early to start developing the basis for a healthy self esteem and to underscore the importance of the bonds and relationships we form.  I think this book helps reinforce that message.

I see that this is a rhyming picture book.  Was it hard to write?

Writing in rhyme is never easy.  It adds a whole new dimension of difficulty to any story.  Not only do you need to concentrate on plot, character, grammar, punctuation, story arc, pacing, etc.  Now you also need to concentrate on rhyme and meter as well.  It’s not an easy task.  But if you are able to do it well, the results are fantastic, regardless of the effort involved.  I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

If I Could Be Anything by Kevin McNamee.  Illustrations by Marina Movshina

Print ISBN: 978-1-61633- 011-8
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633- 012-5

If I could be anything, what would I be?
I think that eventually I would be me.

A boy pretends to be different animals in this warm, rhyming, picture book. In the end, he chooses to be exactly as he is. Love is the anchor that draws him home.

This book is available as a print book, a downloadable e-book, or a book on CD from Guardian Angel Publishing,

Books are also available at at,

Or ask your local bookstore.

What Others Are Saying

“A child's imagination will be expanded when they read Mr. McNamee's delightful rhyming tale If I Could Be Anything coupled with Marina Movshina's colorful illustrations. Children will love imagining being an eagle soaring high in the sky or a bat hanging upside down in a cave. If I Could Be Anything is purely an "Imagination Station" that children of all ages will thoroughly enjoy.” – Dixie Philips – Writing4littleones

If you could be anything at all -- any zoo animal, large or small, what would you be? In his book If I Could Be Anything Kevin McNamee explores this concept from a child's eye view. The story uses simple vocabulary suitable for children ranging in ages from about 2 up to about 6, and rhymes, which makes it a joy to read out loud. The story progresses from wish to reality with plenty of poetic imagery:-

Poet and author Kevin McNamee’s first release with Guardian Angel Publishing is a fantastic debut. Carrying with it a message similar to I Want to Be Somebody New! by Robert Lopshire, this beautifully illustrated story encourages children to appreciate who they are, while inviting them to use their imagination. … Youngsters are going to love this one! - – Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection

This fun rhyming picture book will open up a great discussion with young readers about what type of animal they'd like to be and why. It's a perfect read-aloud and will remind young readers that there's nothing like being yourself. - - Book Review

Author Kevin McNamee’s rhyming text and illustrator Marina Movshina’s colorful pictures will not only challenge youngsters’ imaginations but also help them to appreciate who they are and what they have. I cannot imagine why any child would not enjoy this charming book. - Home School Book Review

Other titles coming soon by Kevin include My Brother, the Frog, Papa’s Suns, Just for Today, and more.

To find out more about Kevin, please visit his website at or visit his blog at

You can friend Kevin on Facebook at

He is also on Linked-In and Twitter, but he admits that he doesn’t tweet much.


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I can help. Check out: Karen Cioffi Writing for Children



Charmaine Clancy said...

I love the sound of this - it bought back memories of books like 'I wish I had duck feet' - kids will love it.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hi, Charmaine, you're absolutely right. This book, and these types of books, is a great way for children to get thinking and imagining.

madcapmaggie said...

Kevin, this book sounds charming. I know how hard it is to write a story in rhyme. The last time I tried, I ended up throwing up my hands and going for straight prose.

Nancy Famolari said...

Kevin, your new book sounds delightful. Anything that helps kids use their imagination is wonderful.

Karen Cioffi said...

Peggy, I know also. I have a children's rhyming article that's about a year old and I still haven't gotten it good enough to submit.

Kevin McNamee said...

Thanks everyone. Writing in rhyme definitely presents a different set of challenges. But when it finally comes together, all the hard work is worth it.

Thanks again,

Kevin :-)

Donna M. McDine said...

Kevin's book is terrific. It definitely puts life into perspective. Best wishes for your continued success!

Warm regards,

Virginia S Grenier said...

Kevin, your book sounds very interesting and I just love the title. It's grabs your attention as a reader. I just twitted and posted this to Facebook so more of my fans would know about your book

Great post Karen and Kevin.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hey, Nancy, Donna, and Virginia.

I love the title also, it opens a child's imagination.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Kevin, I think you've chose one of the most important messages of all. And the reverse. Accepting others just the way they are, huh?

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging editing tips at

Martha said...

Your book sounds wonderful. I love what you said
"t’s okay to just be yourself and it’s okay to be happy with what you have. I think it’s an important message to remember whether you are six or sixty.

I couldn't agree more.

Good luck

Mari said...

Kevin, What a wonderful way to get your message across. Bravo!

Magdalena Ball said...

Kevin, your book has such a powerful message - "It’s okay to just be yourself and it’s okay to be happy with what you have." I think sometimes we all need reminding of that and getting kids to implicitly understand it while they're young is so important.

Mayra Calvani said...

Sounds like a wonderful picture book for young minds.

Best of luck with your books, Kevin.

Kevin McNamee said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. The more feedback that I get on this book, the happier I am that I wrote it.

Thanks again,



Stephen Tremp said...

Sounds like a fun book to read and to write. Best wishes for your success! BTW, I still want to be an astronaut.

Karen Cioffi said...

Hey, All, Thanks for stopping by!

Hmm. What do I want to be?

kathy stemke said...

This is a what if book brought to a new level! Great stuff, Kevin.

Thanks for hosting Karen.

Heidiwriter said...

This sounds like a really excellent book for kids. Do you think with TV and all the technology these days that kids aren't using their imagination as much?

Jennifer Gladen said...

I love the concept of your book! Sounds fantastic! And yes, writing in rhyme is very difficult - but fun as well.

Karen Cioffi said...

Thank you everyone, for stopping by.