By ALLISON HORNE - comp:000049183ad5:000000023d:5016 /__uuid/f7297768-836d-474d-a05e-41f0f9549786/kris-SSM-SPOT-SoarAuthor-0327-Planit-ED.JPG 1436 0 4550 2973 3114 2973 new
Kristina Kaufman appears at a recent book signing and themed activity for children at Oak Brook's Barnes & Noble store. (Submitted photo)

As kids, it’s impossible not to have a wild imagination. Firmly hanging onto her childhood flights of fancy, Lombard native Kristina Kaufman makes them real in the pages of a picture book.

“I would always look at the fireworks on the Fourth of July and think about how amazing it would be to glide up there with them,” Kaufman says. “Especially, the gold one that lingers after it blows up in the sky. I thought it would be an amazing view up there.”

“I Soar” is the tale of a young boy and his journey through the sky, which includes fireworks, birds and all the other blissful things that can be found a mile high.

“It’s really to get kids to think and use their imagination, and get (drawn) in by the illustration,” Kaufman says. “It’s an escape book for kids.”

It is Kaufman’s debut work, and she admits she has learned a lot about what the process is like from start to published book.

“It was hard, especially with a picture book,” Kaufman says, noting Corey R. Tabor did the illustrations. “Every word counts. It took several months to write and rewrite and re-craft, and the whole process took four to five years.”

Even though it was a difficult process, Kaufman already has another children’s book in the works. Like her first, the inspiration sprang from her childhood — she wrote the original concept in seventh grade. At the time, her teacher made a big deal about it, and said it could have been published in a high school newspaper, so Kaufman held onto it.

She is no stranger to youth and their imaginations — Kaufman has spent years studying to be a teacher, and is currently working on her fourth degree. She has a bachelor’s from Illinois State University, her MBA from North Central, and another degree in education from Illinois State, where she is working towards her doctorate in education.
She has accomplished much in her life already, but her first book marks a personal milestone.

“It’s not about the money,” Kaufman says. “It’s about pursuing what you want to pursue. It may take a long time, but if you keep trying, it’ll happen. That’s what the book represents to me.”

She signs her books in fitting fashion: “May all your dreams take flight.”

Find her book

Lombard native Kristina Kaufman writes debut children’s book “I Soar”

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Kristina Kaufman appears at a recent book signing and themed activity for children at Oak Brook's Barnes & Noble store. (Submitted photo)