Throughout this summer as part of our Burton Riglet Summer Reading Series, we’ll be highlighting a few children’s books that feature snowboarding as their theme. We were lucky enough to get an interview with the author of our first featured book Earl’s Big Adventure in Japan. Hanna Haidar has written two children’s books published through Old Silver Press and illustrated by Kimberly Newton. He also happens to work here at Burton Snowboards. Earl’s Big Adventure books are great for (read to me) ages 3 to 6 years.
How long have you been writing children’s stories for?
I began writing the Earl Series while traveling on a nine month surf trip to Central America and Indonesia in 2003.
What inspired you to write a children’s book about snowboarding?
It was natural for me to write children’s travel books focused on snowboarding and surfing, because those have been the lenses through which I’ve experienced the world in my travels. I found that other riders and surfers enjoyed reading the stories with their kids because these sports are so central to many of our lives. After teaching so many kids to snowboard writing a snowboarding book for them followed naturally.
What do you hope families take away from reading your books?
The biggest messages are a celebration and appreciation of other countries, cultures, and languages. Different shouldn’t mean scary. Different should be exciting. Meeting other people, learning new languages and trying new foods is incredibly fun.
What other books have you written for Children?
Earl’s Big Adventure in Costa Rica was my first book. It is a children’s travel book based around a surf trip to Costa Rica. It was directly inspired by my own travel experiences and the people I met along the way. When I would come home from my surf trips people would ask me if I was afraid to go to these places that sounded scary on the news. I wanted to share the positive experiences I’d encountered everywhere I went.
Tell us about your snowboarding journey; how has it impacted you?
I came to snowboarding from surfing. My first snowboard lesson was in 1994 at Nashoba Valley in Massachusetts. I rode sporadically until 2007 when I became a snowboard instructor in Vermont at Sugarbush Resort. I taught for eight years and met some amazing people, many of whom are now my best friend, and one of whom is now my wife. I love being in the mountains and sharing the experience with others. Snowboarding also brought me here to Burton!
Anything else you’d like to share with our Riglet Readers?
My closing thought would just be that it’s important to encourage kids to explore and experience. Kids have much less fear of differences than adults do. Starting them at a young age with exposure to new cultures, whether it’s through travel, food, languages, or books has a huge impact on how they will view and experience the world as adults.
How to purchase
You can purchase Earl’s Big Adventure in Japan and Earls Big Adventure in Costa Rica through Amazon.com. We’ll be giving away five copies of each of the books throughout the summer as part of our Burton Riglet Summer Reading Series. To participate simply sign up for our Burton Riglet newsletter located on the bottom of our homepage. We will be drawing a few winners each month at random. Drawing end August 31st, 2016. Did you already sign up for our newsletter? No worries. We’ve pre-entered you into our drawing. Winners will be notified by email and will have 30 days to respond to claim their book. Enjoy your Riglet Summer Reading with your family.