The front cover of Randall the Blue Spider Tries Honey Cakes, drawn by Brady Lowell.
Randall the Blue Spider is a friendly bug who lives by the beach; he is growing up and learning how to address his big feelings with the help of his friends, family, and teachers. The third picture book in the Randall the Blue Spider & Friends series is available on Amazon and other online bookstores. Each book in the young reader series offers insight into how kids can cope with social-emotional issues that can sometimes be difficult for parents and educators to discuss with young children.
In Randall the Blue Spider Tries Honey Cakes, readers will meet Camllia the Bee. She loves making honey cakes with her dads and sharing them with friends at school.
Randall doesn’t like honey cakes, even though he has never tried one.
It can be difficult to convince kids to try new things, especially if they think they might not like them. The book follows Randall as he upsets his friend by saying her honey cakes are “yucky” and then learns a lesson about trying new things. Through Randall’s experience, kids (and adults) learn that it is okay to be afraid to try new things, but they won’t know if they like something unless they try it. And—playing with food is okay!
Parents and educators who encourage kids to try new things, from foods and friendship to visiting new places, help children become curious, independent individuals who are better prepared to learn more about themselves and the world around them.
Ryeson Bull, 6-year-old author with all three of the picture books in the Randall the Blue Spider book series
This is especially important as families start getting back out into the world after Zoom school and social distancing over the past two years. Anxiety has increased in children in the United States according to the CDC, and it’s necessary that parents aid kids in feeling comfortable trying new things because they can learn valuable life lessons along the way.
Written by mother and son duo Ryeson (6 years old) & Shana Bull, Randall the Blue Spider Tries Honey Cakes, for ages three to eight, is a fun way to talk with kids about mental health by presenting a familiar character, Randall the Blue Spider, who deals with issues that kids face every day.
“When we launched Randall the Blue Spider Goes Surfing last year, we never imagined the impact it would have on people. The book has resonated with parents and children as Randall learns a funny and effective coping skill to help his nervousness,” says Shana Bull, co-author.
“It’s been just over one year since the first book’s release, and today, we’ve evolved the story by launching our third book in the Randall the Blue Spider & Friends series. This picture book, Randall the Blue Spider Tries Honey Cakes, combines my love of food as a restaurant freelance writer with Ryeson’s hesitancy to try new foods. We also include a real part of his life: enzymes, which help his tummy digest his food.”
Ryeson and Shana Bull, co-authors of Randall the Blue Spider & Friends picture book series (image from Loren Hansen Photography)
Ryeson Bull, six years old, wrote each of the three picture books with his mom, writer Shana Bull. Ryeson has cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and pancreas. He was born with the disease; he takes enzymes before each meal (just like Randall!) and does breathing treatments twice a day to make sure his lungs are as healthy as can be.
The first book Randall the Blue Spider Goes Surfing was written when Ryeson was only two years old. It was published when his mom, Shana Bull, was bedridden from cancer treatments during the pandemic. The first book covers feelings like nervousness. His second book, Randall the Blue Spider Plays Pretend, centers on Randall and his friend Joey learning to love themselves while using their imaginations.
With beautiful illustrations and a sweet message about friendship and trying new things, Randall the Blue Spider Tries Honey Cakes is sure to be another favorite among young readers (and their parents!).
Follow along with Randall the Blue Spider and Ryeson Bull at @RandalltheBlueSpider or RandalltheBlueSpider.com, or connect with Shana at firstname.lastname@example.org