Would you like for your kids to get outside more? Indulging their curiosity? Inspiring their imaginations? Keeping them healthy? Then you should definitely introduce them to Geocaching! But sometimes explaining things to your kids can go in one ear and out the other. So an alternative is to let them learn about Geocaching through a fun book. One such kids Geocaching book is Eclair Goes Geocaching — and we were excited to catch up with kids book author, Michelle Weidenbenner, to discuss her new children’s book!
Check out our interview – and discover how your kids may be inspired by the characters, and adventure in the story.
Why did you write the book, Éclair Goes Geocaching?
I wrote the book to teach children what geocaching is about through Éclair’s journey with her eccentric Grandma Stella and inspire children to become avid cachers. I think geocaching is a great way for families to spend time together.
Éclair is a seven-year-old girl who has to live with her grandma because her mother is sick and her father works. The reader never knows where Éclair’s mother goes, only that she didn’t feel well and rarely smiled and had to go away to get better. I wanted to leave that part open-ended so more children could relate to Éclair.
Unfortunately, many children live with their grandparents or other extended family because of illness, incarceration or death, and I wanted this series to address that alternative family style.
This is the third book in the series. Because Stella is a hoot, I thought it would be fun if she took Éclair on her first geocaching adventure.
Check out some of Eclair’s other adventure books
What reading level is the book?
The book is a short chapter book intended for early readers between 5 – 9 years old. I purposely used a larger font so there are fewer words on the page, making it less intimating for kids. The first two books are more for girls, but boys have read this one and laughed and enjoyed it. One nine-year-old even left me an Amazon review (with the help of his mother).
When did you first hear about geocaching?
A few years ago I didn’t know what the sport was all about. A friend mentioned that I should write a suspense novel about geocaching, which prompted me to research it.
That research led to my debut novel, Cache a Predator, a thriller about a cop who wants custody of his five-year-old daughter. However, that book is only for adults and many cachers have left me email requesting a book for children.
When the Éclair series was born, I decided to add a geocaching theme to one of the stories. My hope is that the book will bring more awareness to kids who want to play the sport. So many people who read my thriller had no idea that geocaching was a real thing. Until now.
Cache a Predator is hidden in geocaching sites across the US and Canada and now in the UK. Eventually the Eclair book will be hidden in caches across the US and Canada too. I posted a FB request for cache owners to send me their addresses if they were interested in helping me plant the books in sites. I had a great response.
Jesse Tuttle, a geocaching marketing guy from AFK Geocaching (Facebook.com/AFKGC) is working on a trackable game and coin to go along with the promo. I hope to know more about that in a few weeks.
How often do you go Geocaching?
Not often enough. I’ve been a premium member for a few years, but I haven’t had too much time to participate in the sport. I hope that will change soon.
I have a blast watching Cache a Predator’s journey online as it travels to different states and countries. Some books have traveled more than 13,000 miles.
If you could go Geocaching anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
I would love to geocaching in Scotland because of the beautiful topography I’ve seen in the pictures there. I’d love to hike the plush green hillsides and search for a cache.
What do you hope young readers (or families) take away from the story Eclair Goes Geocaching?
I hope that children who read this book will learn that sometimes the best things in life aren’t planned, that treasures are often different than what we imagined.
I also hope that the children reading this book will beg their parents to take them geocaching. It’s a great way to spend family time together learning about nature, solving a mystery, and building navigation skills. Plus, when they find a cache it will build their confidence skills and give them a sense of accomplishment.
Thanks for Your Geocaching Contribution Michelle!
Michelle is an award winning speaker and author who’s passionate about social issues. She’s often a sucker for the other side of the story. When she’s not writing or speaking she’s on the court playing pickle ball or teaching her grandkids leadership skills.
We’d like to thank Michelle for her contribution to the Geocaching world, and for taking the time to chat with us!
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