Tom Weck (Ethiopia 1965–67) is the founder of Lima Bear Press. With his son Peter, and illustrator Len DiSalvo, they have created a series of children’s books for 4–8 year-olds called The Lima Bear Stories, three of which, The Megasaurus, How Back-Back Got His Name, and The Cave Monster were published in 2011 and we are recognizing with this award. These books grew out of bedtime stories about a clan of bears the size of lima beans that Tom told his four children. Four of the planned 10-book series have been published. 2 more are due in 2013. Each book has an important message (e.g. tolerance, forgiveness).
“It was my son Peter who prompted me to start Lima Bear Press, LLC.,” Tom says today. “He felt my stories were so good that they had to be shared with others. You see, when my children were very young, I told them bedtime stories. I told a lot of stories as I had four children (David, Peter, Kathryn and Andrew.) And I made up stories. I made up a clan of beans, the size of lima beans, that lived in the forest with regular sized animals.
“When children are born, they come into a world that is not sized for them. It is sized for adults, and this presents many problems and challenges for them. It is the same thing for the bean-clan. I found that my children identified with these beans as they listened to (or read) about the size problems these beans encountered. To make the beans very likeable, for the two main bean characters, I gave them endearing qualities. Lima Bear is the essence of goodness, and his cousin, L. Joe Bean, is the cleverest animal of the forest. It tickled my children pink that this tiny bean was the cleverest.
“One day Peter, who was in his 30s, came to me and said: ‘Dad, you remember those Lima Bear Stories you used to tell us. Those stories were so good and had such good messages, which I still remember, that you really need to share these stories with others. They can’t just disappear with you.’ He prevailed upon me to launch a publishing company, Lima Bear Press, LLC, with the two of us as partners.”
For more information on this series of books from Lima Bear Press, go to: limabearpress.com
To watch a fan of the Lima Bear Stories, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svi-HcLfEVI
Winners of the Peace Corps Writers Awards receive a certificate and small cash award.