Hartnell's children's book has 'powerful message'

Hartnell's children's book has 'powerful message'

Hartnell downplays notching his 500th career NHL point

December 26, 2013, 9:00 am
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Kyla Hartnell said it was pretty easy to write a children’s book about her younger brother.

“Scott takes himself lightly,” said the mother of three, who lives on Vancouver Island. “Always makes light of things and yet moves forward.”

You want a holiday gift for your child of say elementary school age or younger? A book that helps a charitable foundation?

Then check out Hartnelldown, which is available for $19 on his website, hartnelldown.com.

It’s a book tracing Hartnell’s life from his backyard as a kid all the way to the NHL and the lesson is, every time you hit the ice, you get back up and try again.

“It’s simple and cute, and yet there is a powerful message,” Kyla Hartnell said.

Kyla wrote the short book and Seth Thompson did the illustrations. Proceeds will go to the Hartnelldown Foundation.

“We had a meeting last spring or summer,” Scott Hartnell recalled. “We were trying to brainstorm ideas how to get donations other than t-shirts and hats and stuff.

“And I said why don’t we write a children’s book about the value of falling down in life and getting back up and continue to keep going?

“A couple people on our board laughed. A couple people liked it. We went with it. The story came out. I loved the whole thing about it. We went with it.”

Kyla sits on the foundation’s eight-person board.

“We had some ideas on paper and in the back of my head I said, ‘I can do this,’” she said. “I stayed up one night until 3 a.m. and put together some rhymes.

“I wanted to chronicle growing up in Saskatchewan and playing on our backyard rink. I knew I wanted it to have developmental growth and his play from [junior] hockey to overcoming injury and everything else the NHL can deliver your way.”

Scott is 31. Kyla is nine years older and continually calls him, “my younger brother.” She took family photos young Scott from various times in his life and sent them to Thompson for illustrations.

The book is written in rhyme. She took her rhymes and penned notes on the side and sent them to the illustrator with potential ideas for drawings to match what she had written. It took months for that portion of the book to come together.

“My sister did most of the writing,” Scott Hartnell said. “We tweaked some lines. It turned out great. Obviously, I love it.”

Scott’s face appears on every page as does his foundation’s name #Hartnelldown. That’s no accident.

“I wanted to brand his foundation,” Kyla Hartnell said.

Though a short story, it’s non-fiction.

“I didn’t invent anything,” she said proudly. “It truly is his story.”

The book is also available at the Flyers Charities Kiosk behind Section 116 on the main concourse.