Robert J Mascarelli Discusses his first Children’s Book
‘ The Tree I See ‘
The Tree I See – Interactive Storybook as an app, is unique and offers a consistent illustrative theme along with systematic character integration, to enhance and build upon a child’s working memory. Adele Diamond, one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience, defines working memory as, “holding information in your mind while mentally working with it or updating it.” The Tree I See calls out directly to the reader from the very beginning. The book begins with…“Do you see the Tree I See?” This is quite similar to a ‘Dora the Explorer’ approach and maintains a child’s focus from the very beginning. A consistent illustrative theme – The Tree – grounds the reader, and the introduction of a new character with the turn of every page avoids “ illustration / interaction overload.” These elements allow children with varying cognitive abilities to develop a ‘working memory’ and re-enforces a child’s re-call, as each new character maintains a specific animation and action throughout the story. In addition, this dynamic interactive tale helps children identify the emotions and feelings of others who may feel sad, shy, lonely, scared, or happy. We believe this is quite important as children encounter bullying and cyberbullying at a young age in the classroom.
The inspiration behind The Tree I See occurred during Mr. Mascarelli’s early years as a Neurosurgery Physician Assistant in New York, a position he has held since 2002. Having the opportunity to help newborns, children, and adults afflicted with neurological conditions, brain cancer, and traumatic brain injuries inspired Mr. Mascarelli to write a book for children who may encounter a difficult or prolonged hospital course.
The Moral of the story: All of us will encounter a dark moment during our lifetime, but it is important to remember that loved ones will remain nearby in our hearts, minds, and memories, whether visible or invisible. As the light shines through, we realize that our loved ones will never leave us and stay by our side through any difficult time we may encounter. The story illustrates this valuable life lesson as the main character forms friendships with animals of the wilderness.
Mr. Mascarelli’s life experience in treating and caring for patients, inspired him to write this tale about a Tree who encounters a dark lonely moment. He developed the character of the Tree to represent any patient or individual who may feel isolated, scared, abandoned, and without hope. Mr. Mascarelli is motivated to remind all of us, that loved ones will be with us in our hearts, mind, soul, and memories, as we encounter any difficult life event. This realization occurs when we emerge from the darkness, either during this life or as we pass into the next.
” I always believed a children’s book should ‘give back’ to those who use it, in this case – the children. Working in the field of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience as a Physician Assistant, I continue to learn about the ever growing cases of children diagnosed with Autism. Our company has the opportunity to reach the corners of the world, while encouraging global support for children, loved ones, and families who work through the joys, trials, and challenges of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.” - Robert J Mascarelli