Dale The Uniclyde:  An Adventure in Friendship

I am surprised at how much of my life has been spent going about my regular duties and obligations and how much I have missed in my fifty years on the planet. And yet I have been so incredibly fortunate to write a few stories that simply opened themselves to me. Dale the Uniclyde is one of those … In May of 2006 I was given the wonderful opportunity to sign books at Grant's Farm here in the St. Louis area. They have llamas and I am the author of a little book called I Don't Want to Kiss a Llama! (The title was given to me by my daughter Erin.) Besides the llamas they have a tram ride through the park, wonderful animal shows, and an extraordinarily friendly and helpful staff. A highlight of the day is the chance to visit the Clydesdales! One guest saw my name tag and, thinking I was a staff member, asked me where the Clydesdales were. I explained and then handed him a copy of my poem “Leading the Unicorn” and told him to “take my horse with you!” In that instant it came to me to write a poem about a unicorn Clydesdale. The next day I composed the poem in our car as Sharon drove us to Branson for another signing. I have looked at my original version in my notebook several times and am amazed at how few changes I made in the story as I wrote it. The pictures were another story … I never planned to illustrate my own books, but I wanted I Don't Want to Kiss a Llama! to be affordable for families so I did it myself. It has had a very good reception from my readers and many in the graphic art field, but as I drew Dale I hesitated because of the different nature of the poem. And then, my son Ryan introduced Sharon and me to Heather Parrott who drew the alicorn (winged unicorn) which is on the last page of this book. It wasn't long afterwards that we asked her to draw all the pictures! And aren't they wonderful? I feel personally very close to this poem and this book because my father's name was Dale, and it was a prayer and a poem for him in 2002 that began my writing career. And so it is with the very best of wishes for you and the ones you love that I thank you for the opportunity to share this story. May the best of your dreams always come true!

Byron von Rosenberg
Byrnes Mill, Missouri

author with a clydesdale

Courtesy of Grant's Farm, St.Louis, MO.
© Red Mountain Creations 2007

Byron von Rosenberg is an inspirational poet, children's author, and speaker whose stories have brought cheer to thousands of families. Byron was born in Houston and grew up in New Orleans. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa and a master's from Murray State University. His storytelling began with tales he told to his own children as he put them to sleep. (His wife Sharon says he often put himself to sleep as well.) He has been writing regularly since 2002 and Dale the Uniclyde is his sixth book. Byron loves to write and to share his stories. He and his family live in Missouri with two dogs and two cats and numerous uninvited animals who usually stay outside.

Heather-Louise Parrott (Otherwise known as SugarCat) is currently in her third year at University, studying for a BA(Hons) Illustration at Lincoln University UK. Born in Leicester, UK 1985, she has lived in the city all her life until June of 2010 when she flew across the big pond to marry Byron and Sharon's son Ryan! Art has always been a core part of her life and her interests, competing throughout her school years as well as providing artwork for various church events and children's groups. A born again Christian at the age of 15 she was actively involved in both the music groups as well as the children's clubs. A keen musician she can play three instruments, piano, guitar and clairnet and is also a singer, being involved in church music groups as well as orchestra's from the age of 10. After progressing through high school and college gaining 11 GCSE'S, 2Alevels and 3AS levels in a mixture of Arts, Sciences and English Literature she then went on to do a Foundation course in Art & Design at DeMontfort University in Leicester before going to Lincoln to do her Batchelor of Arts degree. As an artist she has always been influenced by the work of JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Magie Fury, and Roald Dahl. An avid Fantasy, Disney, Science fiction, Animals, and Japanese Animation lover she tries to encorporate her loves into what she does and into her style or working. Since childhood her aim was to illustrate for children's and fantasy books and loves the idea of working from home in these rather than a huge company atmosphere. Originally commissioned to do just the alicorn picture (shown above) Byron then decided to commission her to do the entire book, after being introduced by Ryan who was then her boyfriend. Yes, they met over the internet! This book has been a fantastic opportunity and she is very grateful to Byron for the opportunity as well as enjoying the process and the project in general. If you are interested in commissioning her please contact:  heather.parrott@btinternet.com or visit www.sugarcatkitty.deviantart.com for more info.

Dale The Uniclyde