That her book Surprising Silhouettes makes a statement was not initially what inspired Menlo Park resident Connie Tamaddon to begin what would become a six-year project. “I was really looking for something that would fuel my creative juices,” explains the children’s photographer turned videographer. “Doing a book had been at the back of my mind for some time.”
Using unusual materials to fashion seemingly familiar shapes, Connie’s imagination yields objects that aren’t always as they seem. In a fun and whimsical way, children learn the importance of not judging a book by its cover.
“The larger message came after I was working on the book and would describe it to people,” she says. “That’s how the back page dedication came about, dedicating the book to ‘inspiring creativity in children and helping individuals whose voices are not always heard’.”
Surprising Silhouettes has earned an endorsement from Me to We, an organization that sells socially conscious and environmentally friendly clothes, books and music, and also provides inspiring speakers, leadership training, and transformative travel experiences. One Me to We speaker, Spencer West, will be addressing parents at Encinal School on Wednesday, February 9 at 7:00 pm as part of Appreciating Our Differences week, which Connie will also participate in. (Spencer’s appearance is open to wider adult community – get more details, including how to RSVP.)
Connie is donating all profits from Surprising Silhouettes, which is available online and at Kepler’s, to College Track, a nonprofit that helps underprivileged students obtain a college degree. “I worked hard to get through college and realize how easily kids can slip through the cracks,” Connie says. “The kids in the College Track program really have to work hard and the results are terrific.”
Connie is proud of the book’s message about not prejudging — “these books are going out like little seeds,” she says. But she doesn’t want to lose sight of its other call to action: That parents should give kids the opportunity to be creative and day dream. “My parents gave me a lot of time. My wish is that we’d all foster creativity in kids like we foster academia.”