Proceeds from the book will benefit the Ronald McDonald House, where the author’s nephew stayed during the battle with meningitis; “I wanted to do something to repay them”
Kyle Weber, a graduate of Patrick Fogarty Catholic High School, wrote his first children’s book, Jack dreamed of an upside-down machine.
The 31-year-old began his publishing career at the age of 12 when he created editorial designs for The Orillia Package and Schedules newspaper.
“I’ve always been in illustration and I’ve always been surrounded by writing. My dad self-published a few books and so did my mom. I’ve always been into the arts, so pairing my illustrations with self-publishing a book seemed like a natural thing to do,” Weber said.
Weber decided to become a children’s author shortly after his nephew Jack was diagnosed with meningitis a few years ago.
“Things were really dark, he didn’t seem to be getting there, and then there was a chance that if he got through it, he would probably have lifelong challenges like hearing loss or behavioral issues. However, he miraculously escaped unscathed,” Weber said.
During Jack’s stay at SickKids Hospital, Weber’s sister and brother-in-law stayed at Ronald McDonald House.
“During this period, I discovered the Ronald McDonald House and saw how useful it was for my whole family. It touched me and I knew I wanted to do something to pay them back,” Weber said.
“At the same time, I think of my nephew’s world for surviving his meningitis and everything he’s been through. I really enjoy my time with him, and a lot of that time has been spent reading children’s books.
As an artist, Weber became convinced he could write a children’s book to honor his nephew and raise awareness of Ronald McDonald House. He donates all proceeds from the book to the Ronald McDonald House.
“The premise of the book is that it starts with Jack having the best day of his life, and when he goes to bed that night, he thinks to himself that he wishes he could live that day again and again. So, the next day, he wakes up and decides he’s going to build a time machine to go back and relive that perfect day,” Weber says.
“Jack spends all this time building this machine upside down in his backyard, and what happens is that over time it kind of misses the life.”
Weber says the book’s message is aimed at children, but may also resonate with adults.
“One thing I’m very aware of in my own life is that I spend too much time at work and not enough with my family and friends. The message of the book is just to be more present, to think about the things that are really important rather than to pursue those things that you think will lead you to more happiness,” he said.
Weber, recently married, works in digital marketing in Waterloo; he hopes his own children are in his future.
Jack dreamed of an upside-down machine is available for $14.99 and can be found here.