By day, Warwick’s Adam G. Smith has been the funeral director for the Shalom Memorial Chapel in Cranston for the past 13 years. By night, he's a dad, a lover of chocolate and now, a published author as well.
Smith released "Spiders for Lunch: A story and cookbook for children and adults" this past fall. Illustrated by lifelong friend and artist Melissa Guillet (aroundtheworldin100miles.blogspot.com), the book is the result of a conversation Smith, his wife Andrea, and his young son Matthew were having one evening at bedtime.
"Matthew was afraid of the dark and we were talking to him about it. Andrea asked him what he was afraid of and he said he was afraid of monsters," said Smith.
When Smith's son announced during that conversation that he thought monsters tasted like spiders and that spiders tasted like grapes, "because they pop in your mouth when you bite into them," a new book was born.
Utilizing his love for all things chocolate, along with his love for cooking and baking, Smith created a combination of a rhyming story book-cookbook around the spider theme with each recipe in the cookbook looking like a spider and each illustration in the story being drawn to resemble the spider recipes.
The opening page of the story is reminiscent of Matthew's comment about eating monsters and spiders.
"Spiders for lunch! I'm eatin' spiders for lunch! It's a wet, juicy pop and a satisfying crunch! Spiders for lunch! I ate five spiders for lunch! It's a wet, juicy pop and a satisfying crunch!"
The recipes include such delicacies as Chocolate Covered Grape Spiders, Squished Spider Apples with Cheese and Honey, and a Crunchy Spider Sandwich, for example.
Each recipe includes a photograph and starts with the all-important tip for the kids to wash and dry their hands, something Smith was sure to point out.
He noted that his son Matthew was thrilled with the new book, knowing that he was the inspiration for it.
"He loves it; he knows it's for him. My world revolves around him and he knows it," Smith said.
He has already done a reading of the story in Matthew's class at Holliman Elementary School. Even before "Spiders for Lunch" came out, Smith was doing literacy activities with poetry and story writing in his son's classes. He even got the copyright for one short story that Matthew's pre-school class wrote with him one day.
"There are only two copies of that book out there. One for that class and one for me," he said.
"I've written other books, other poetry and short stories, fiction for adults," Smith continued. "This is my first internationally published book and since I've had Matthew I only do things that are appropriate for kids."
Smith said he is interested in doing more readings of "Spiders for Lunch" for children, especially in the fall as Halloween approaches, and that he hopes to publish more children's books in the future.
To order "Spiders for Lunch," visit www.xlibris.com/bookstore or call 1-888-795-4272 ext. 7879.