Being an avid sportsman with a daughter too young to take afield, Robert Jacobs of Oak City, Utah, wanted to teach her about his passion by reading hunting stories. But there was a problem.
"When I searched [the Internet] for children's hunting stories, the only thing that came up were books-written for kids-with anti-hunting themes," he said. "I decided to do something about that."
Jacobs' desire to expose his daughter and other kids to the benefits and joys of hunting, shooting and fishing prompted him to write two series of Little Sportsman (littlesportsman.com) books. The three-book "My First" series emphasizes the safety and responsibility required when handling a rifle, bow or BB gun. The "Little Jake" series of five books follows a teenager on hunts for deer, bear and other game, teaching children about game laws, ethics, conservation and even hunting techniques. Reversing the "Bambi" mentality, all the books are richly illustrated by former Disney illustrators.
In the family-friendly atmosphere of the Great American Outdoor Show, the books are a hit. Kids look at the Little Sportsman hardcovers and smile when they realize the stories are about one of them. Parents can't help but smile, too, because Jacobs' books have a way of making reading fun.