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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Local author writes children’s book about appreciating everyday gifts

Dec 16, 2021 09:10AM ● By Gigi Smith

Miriam Aiazzi holds her recently published book. (Photo courtesy Miriam Aiazzi)

By Gigi Smith | [email protected]

Author Miriam Aiazzi reflected on how reading beautiful stories with great messages make such an impact on a reader and create beautiful memories. Such is the case with her recently published book “Windy’s Big Adventure.” Its message for young readers is to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.

After immigrating to New York City from South Africa, Aiazzi, a school teacher, talked of writing a children's book. With an idea in mind, Aiazzi wrote a story and illustrated it before asking her friend, Mother Mae, to edit it and let her know what she thought. This is where the story could have ended.  

It was 10 years later when Aiazzi received a call from the now 83-year-old Mother Mae, who during the call, mentioned that she had found "Windy's Big Adventure" while cleaning out a drawer. Mother Mae continued the conversation, telling Aiazzi that not only did she find the book, but that she thought it was good enough to be published. Because the book had been forgotten about for a decade, Aiazzi wasn’t sure if Mother Mae was remembering correctly. But, by the end of the call, Mother Mae confirmed that the block handwriting was definitely by Aiazzi, and complimented her on how cute the illustrations were. 

When Aiazzi initially wrote "Windy's Big Adventure" she didn't have an age group in mind, but rather the desire to better understand what was happening in her own life. There was a lot of change and she wasn't sure if her decision to move from New York to Utah was about being unhappy, about needing a change or just seeking something different in her life.  

After putting her story on paper, Aiazzi wanted to share the idea that every day people are offered adventures and gifts. These small adventures and gifts are not always easy to spot and occasionally people need to take the time to look for and find the little blessings in their lives instead of always expecting the big things. She says that it is especially important and relevant now as we live each day during a pandemic to appreciate the small things and look for the positive.   

Aiazzi dedicated "Windy's Big Adventure" to her friend Mother Mae and the book was released in July 2021. "Windy's Big Adventure" can be found within the Canyons School District, online through Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Aiazzi is excited that her idea has come to life and humbled by the positive response that “Windy's Big Adventure" has gotten from children and adults inspiring more of Windy's adventures from the author.