By SARAH SHMERLING | Managing Editor
Conor Dubin had a story to tell, something that was different than other children’s books on the shelves.
His three books—“Kate’s First Mate,” “Journey Through Jellyfish Island” and “Princess Arainee and the Search for Pet Hamy”—are designed as tools to begin the conversation between parents and their children about choosing healthy partnerships.
“My inspiration came from many places,” Dubin explained to the Palisadian-Post. “I was wondering why there were no children’s books that try to present a healthy relationship narrative, as building healthy relationships seems to be one of life’s more important and valuable lessons.”
Dubin said he found that there were not many stories out there for young boys, and that stories for young girls often follow the princess narrative.
“Life has become much more complicated since the introduction of the princess story, but children’s books have not caught up,” he said.
He then realized he had an opportunity to create a series where two people can grow together and learn important lessons over the course of several adventures.
The series begins with “Kate’s First Mate,” a tale of how the main character, Kate, searches for a healthy and meaningful partnership with a first mate when her loving and supportive guardian grandfather has to step down as captain of their ship, The Happy Marriage, and puts her in charge.
“Journey Through Jellyfish Island” is a story about getting lost, facing fears and finding strength; “Princess Arainee and the Search for Pet Hamy” touches on the importance of empathy.
“I think [empathy] is slowly being chipped away in our society … I wanted to write about it, how we lost it, what happens when it disappears, how necessary it is and how to get it back,” he shared.
Dubin is planning two more books in the “Adventures of Kate & Nate” series.
“The next book tells the lesson of gratitude,” Dubin shared. “It examines the idea that we are all apart of each other’s lives and that everyone we meet helps us to grow and learn as we help them to grow and learn.”
When he’s not writing children’s books, Dubin, a Connecticut transplant who earned his MBA at Pepperdine University, works in The Village in finance for a local real estate development company.
He compared his work with the books to his work in finance, explaining that both involve taking complex theories and explaining them in simple terms.
Dubin also noted that he hopes the books will give parents a reason to sit down with their children and spend extra time together.
“Just the tradition of sitting down and reading a story seems lost now, and it is a wonderful way to unplug from the world and connect with someone on a meaningful level.”
For more information or to purchase a copy of one of the books, visit katesfirstmate.com.