Thursday, September 3, 2009

New review and interview for Randy Kazandy

Hello Everyone,
Here is the review and interview for Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? by Rhonda Fischer. I hope everyone enjoys.


I had the pleasure of reading the new children’s book Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? by Rhonda Fischer. I love stories that touch you in a way that makes you look into yourself. I must say that this children’s book is one of my favorites so far. I sat down my boys and we read the book together. The art work was phenomenal; it caught my children’s attention immediately and all I heard was, “That is so cute. Look at that!” The story of Randy Kazandy is about a boy named Randy who has a hard time seeing; he walks in circles and falls down when he plays, so his mom takes him to see Dr. Bee, an eye doctor. Low and behold, Randy needs glasses. This is where the adventure begins. The problem is not that Randy needs glasses, but that he doesn’t want to wear them. He tries everything to either hide them or get rid of them. Luckily, his mother has several extra pairs available, just in case.

The story is told in rhyme and is truly delightful. In each page there is a pair of glasses hidden in the picture, which took us a little bit to find in some of them. Randy reminds me a lot of my youngest son who hides things really well and all it takes is one second for your back to be turned and—it’s gone. The story made me laugh and I could relate to Randy’s adventure, having glasses myself. When I was younger I always felt silly wearing them. I didn't like the way they looked or felt on my face, but then after I got used to them, I realized that I needed them to see because wthout them my vision was blurred. I had to accept wearing glasses before anybody else could. If people were truly my friends then they would accept my new look. Building confidence and believing in yourself is something that takes time. Randy had to accept his new look and know that inside he didn't change, but on the outside his glasses expressed more of his true personality. He was a young, lively child, full of heart and wonder. Appearance is not the most important part of life, it is the depths of our souls that tell us who we really are and that is what people love about us.
Rhonda does a wonderful job creating a story that children can understand and relate to. The message that it departs is that it is okay to wear glasses. When Randy saw that his dad wore glasses too, it made him feel accepted and proud to be able to emulate his father and be just like him. Randy needed to realize that it didn't matter what people thought or that he looked a little different. It is more important to be able to see instead of missing out of life’s many adventures because you can't see. The great part about glasses is that you can choose the style that fits you and your face the best. You can choose any color that is fun and will make you happy, and that is what Randy gets to do. He gets to make these glasses his own because they are apart of him, and how special and fun is that? Two thumbs up!!!

Joining us today is Rhonda Fischer, author of the Randy Kazandy Series for children. We’re going to talk to Rhonda about this new series and how parents or teachers can use this wonderful story to help build confidence in their child.

Welcome, Rhonda. It’s great to have you with us.
The pleasure is mine

Please tell our readers a bit about yourself.
I have been married for 31 years and started writing when I was 18 years old in my diary. I really never stopped writing. I lived in NY and when I got married we moved to Albuquerque. I was homesick and I wrote in my happy moments and my sad moments. It was my salvation. I have 4 children grown in college.Nicholas graduated this year from Pittsburgh with an MBA, works at Heinz, and has his own business Fischer Capitol Partners. Oliver got his Masters degree from Georgetown, Washington and is taking his MCATS for medical school this week. Tim is now in Pittsburgh and Sarah at Fullerton, CA both majoring in Economics. They were my inspiration. We loved to laugh and I always wrote funny stories and poetry. Just this Christmas we were all together and I wrote poetry over the whole holiday on funny things the kids were doing, although grown up you wouldn’t know it.

How did your writing career begin?
My mother use to read to me when I was little and have us recite poetry. I still know some of the Robert Lewis Stevenson poems that I learned when I was a little girl.
I got really inspired when I was in high school. My history teacher read my stories out loud to the class. He loved my writing and would always write at the top of my essay papers “you should be a writer.”

Tell us about your Randy Kazandy Series and how it can build confidence and self esteem in children when it comes to wearing glasses?
We, as teachers, parents, grandparents, and coaches, spend most of our day setting good examples, reinforcing good behavior, and encouraging positive self-esteem.

“Randy Kazandy” is the perfect teaching tool for teachers, as Randy soars from an “alien” to a little boy who “sees the world more clearly”. Randy not only appears to be a typical little boy in your class, but a smart one, too, as he discovers that many children his age have similar sight problems and also seek out Dr. Bee’s help. Through his antics to hide his “specs”, we find him very clever as he tests his mother’s patience. As the story develops, we find Randy’s mom and the eye doctor working hand in hand to help Randy accept this new challenge. Mom did know her rambunctious little boy, and her plan was set in place to outsmart him.
Parents and teachers are role models for children, so when Randy’s dad also needs to wear glasses, Randy begins to accept this new adventure more opened mindedly. “Now I look a bit more like you” is all Randy needs to turn the corner. “I’m proud of you, son”, are just the words that Randy requires, as the break through to “see” the world more clearly. The characters in this story afford an instructor the opportunity to discuss several issues with their class: developing self esteem, a child’s fear of being different, parents as role models, and how to turn a situation from trauma to acceptance. The illustrations typify an everyday little boy, freckles and all, but the real beauty of this story is the theme of loving yourself. Teachers, parents, and grand- parents have numerous chances to reinforce this in their classrooms and in their homes as they read about Randy. Randy Kazandy is the perfect vehicle to encourage good discussion among your students and to practice role playing, demonstrating how people can be cruel or kind, closed minded or open minded, and how to develop strategies to cope with these issues in the classroom, on the play ground, or in the neighborhood

What age group is this series for?
(3-9) although parents and grandparents love the story. I had one 80 year old have me sign two books and send them to her. She lived in New York.. She loved the book.

This book is a rhyming book. What inspired you to write it?
Sitting around a fireplace on a cold and wintry night we told stories of the past to the kids. Well, Randy Jacque (sister's husband) told us about when he was a little boy he had to get glasses and we laughed and laughed at all the funny things he did with his glasses. He actually got kicked out of boy scouts because he couldn't sit still. He did have ADD as a child. I wrote the story about it the next day. I actually wrote the story about 10 years ago.
In what forms is your book available? Is it available in e-book, hard cover or traditional paperback, or all?
Hardback at bookstores and Amazon, also on the Randy Kazandy website.
Readers also have a chance to get links or CD’s of you reading the books. Tell us more about that.
I am developing those now. I will be recording the story of Randy Kazandy with sound effects and the Randy Kazandy Time song in the near future.
Guardian Angel Publishing is selling eBooks and iphone versions of the book.

Tell us about the other books that you have written.
I do have the next couple of books in development in the Randy Kazandy series and many ideas. Randy will have an older brother Andy and baby sister Vandy. They also have dog named Stitch. Other books I have written are The Legends of Sunhawk, The Hungry Man, Crooked Granny Grunt, and Orange Autumn.

For homeschool parents, such as myself, we are always looking for the best curriculums, workbooks, supplements and subjects to best teach our children. What makes the Randy Kazandy Series stand out from the rest?
Twenty five percent of children need glasses. They need a hero. When I do assemblies the kids all make homemade glasses so everyone in the room has them on when I read the story including me with my huge glasses.. I put money glasses on and ask the kids, how do you think Randy can make money, I put on Christmas glasses and ask the kids which holiday is it now for Randy, and they guess, then Mexican, and I play the music for each pair of glasses. I have about 15 different types of fun glasses, even Arizona cactus glasses. They love it. They love the alien glasses the best; they usually get a standing ovation. Then we talk about loving ourselves and they give themselves big bear hugs and I would say if some says you have too many freckles what will you say? They all yell out loud, “I love being me!” What if someone says your hair is to curly, what will you say? They all yell out “I love being me!” and so forth. The lesson of self acceptance is learned through the Randy Kazandy Time song and through fun, laughter and hearing the story in rhyme.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
My website is or
If you go to the Randy home page at the bottom are blogs, twitters, utubes and many other links for Randy. Free games are on the site and a story about Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan who had to wear glasses. Also, a page of famous people who wore glasses like Orville Wright, who crashed planes many times because he couldn’t see, and Ben Franklin who invented bifocals are shared.

Where can readers purchase your books and how much do they cost?
The book is $19.95 and is offered in a deluxe hardcover. The book is of the highest quality and lead free. It can be purchased on the RandyKazandy and WhimPublishing website,, Follett Library Resources, Borders. Barnes & Noble online, Halo Publishing or calling 949.713.5791 or 877.852-6276 for your autographed copy.

Has writing always been a passion for you?
In the biggest way. Expressions through words are my music. It is like the air I breathe. No matter what job you have, whether you’re an intellectual or blue collar worker, when we hurt as people and need strength we seek out words. We reach to our deepest depth of our souls to try to feel better and heal. Someone else’s words that went through the same trials and tribulations that we have experienced happy or sad can help heal us. We all go to our great authors for strength.
I have read that you also write poems and are a musician. What is your favorite poem? And what is your favorite instrument?
Could I say my own poems? Yikes! How about Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Up into the Cherry Tree. That poem has been the story of my life. Little did I know that everything in that poem happened to me? After watching the movie The Secret, I now believe we create our own reality. It is also on the Randy Kazandy website. My mom had us memorize poems as a child. We practically lived at the library growing up. My favorite instrument… is one that someone else is playing. On a serious note. I think it is the violin, harp and cello with the violin at the top of the list as I relate to it and feel the vibrations. It is a communication that mollifies my inner peace. My son is a violinist and daughter a harpist. I never got asked as a child what instrument I would like to play. We had a piano that my mother bought for $25 dollars and had to work in a sauerkraut factory so we could take lessons. We had a piano and that’s what my sisters and I had to take. Did you know that they use to mix sauerkraut with their bare feet? I love my mother for all her sacrifices and giving us things she couldn’t have when she was a child.
The illustrations in your book are phenomenal and really do your story justice. How did you meet your illustrator?
When I hired Jill Ronsley as my editor and designer for Randy Kazandy she had a list of illustrators. Jill was recommended through the SCBWI website that we all belong to as being a fabulous editor. She has many awards on children’s books that she has edited. I wanted someone who was highly experienced and knew exactly what she was doing as I wanted a top-notch book. She had just gotten Kim Sponaugles name but hadn’t worked with her on any projects until Randy Kazandy. The three of us worked furiously on the project. I learned bountiful information about editing working with Jill and learned how to inspect illustrations through Kim’s keen eyes. We had so much fun on the project seeing it through till completion. Kim’s ability to depict Randy from the photo I gave her was amazing. The illustrations pop out of the page and she did a wonderful job. I am very pleased with the work she did. She is very talented and a pleasure to work with. Also David Broughton who wore many hats, believed wholeheartly from the start along with all of us that Randy Kazandy, Where Are Your Glasses? would be a great success.

What's next for you? Is there anything else that you are involved in?
The second and third books are in development now and I am working on a very funny poetry book for children. If a person comes to me and tells me of their happiness or sadness, I can write. I can write until wee hours of the night. Experiences of life are what I love to write about. True stories with a twist of fun. Kind of what Hollywood does to a movie.

Is there anything else that you would like to add or share?
I want children to all look into the mirror, and adults too, to look at that beautiful person looking back at them and simply love being you. Never lose sight of that. Never! I love you all. Kids can email Randy Kazandy live from the website and tell him about their new glasses. Also I am staring a blogtalkradio program called “Children’s Voice” that will be starting next month. Children and adults who wear or wore glasses as a child. I want you on my show. Also Opticians and Ophthalmologists will be interviewed. Randy Kazandy is a real person. The last name has been changed but he had eye surgery when he was a baby and had to wear eye glasses at the tender age of 17 months. What you read in this book really happened and he went through 150 pair of eye glasses as a child. The real Dr. Bee in the story still lives in Webster NY and at the ripe old age of 85 still remember Randy and said “ he was my unforgettable patient!” I hope you all enjoy reading the story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Thank you for this lovely time together. Rhonda Fischer

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to our readers today. You are truly an inspiration to others. Good luck in all of your future endeavors. Please check out this book by Rhonda Fischer.
A sample poem from Rhonda's book of poetry for children that she is working on will be posted on my website under the writers showcase page this weekend. Please check it out. I am looking forward to reading her book when it is finished.


  1. A really interesting book and author, perhaps she would consider being a guest on my radio show?


  2. Terrific review and interview. I especially like, "love being you." Wonderful!


  3. Thank you everyone for visiting my blog and commenting. I appreciate it! Also, thank you to Rhonda for giving me the chance to read your wonderful story!

  4. Terrific interview Renee. Rhonda's book will find a home with many parents and children. I think great rhyme always keeps a story in your head.

    Margot's World of Books for Children

  5. BlogTalkRadio starts new show called "Children's
    Book In Sight." with Whim Publishing. Host Rhonda Fischer- Starting in September- "Lets Talk Books"