And the plan is for her videos to use animation with a new, professionally recorded theme song. And it was composed by an 8-year-old boy — Isaac Bohne, of Norwalk.
“I mentioned she didn’t have any music on ‘Storytime Live,’” said the son of Matt and Erin, who just completed third grade at Pleasant Elementary. “I wanted to give back in exchange. I was one of the kids who got one of those sparks of joy.”
“Sparks of joy” is how is mother refers to what Nelson-Schmidt’s picture books produce. Erin Bohne said she finds the author’s stories appealing. Her son’s favorite is “Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster.”
“It’s a fantastic story about children conquering their fears,” said Bohne, a New London Local Schools counselor. “It’s laced with rhyme. They flow; they have great messages for children. They are beautifully illustrated.”
Bohne became acquainted with the author’s books when she was a consultant for Usborne Books & More.
“She is one of their major authors,” Bohne said.
Nelson-Schmidt, who also illustrates her stories, live-streams of “Storytime Live!” at 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday. More information can be found at her website, https://whatifmonsters.com, called “The Magical World of Miss Michelle.”
“More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have seen it,” Bohne said, referring to the YouTube videos. “She reads some of her books. Sometimes she will read one of someone else’s (that inspired her). … We have been watching (her) for four years.”
The Bohne family met Nelson-Schmidt during one of her book tours in Ohio. They went out to eat Feb. 26 at Tony Packo’s Cafe, made famous by multiple references from actor Jamie Farr’s character Klinger on the TV show “M*A*S*H*.” Nelson-Schmidt autographed one of the hot dog buns and now joins those on the wall signed by other celebrities and dignitaries.
“I messaged her in December said said, ‘Isaac would love to meet you,’” said Erin Bohne, who arranged to have the author come to Tony Packo’s.
“It was so exciting,” her son added.
The young Bohne had been taking piano lessons with Tatyana Tolmacheva at the Firelands Symphony Orchestra School of the Arts for two years when his parents discovered he has perfect pitch.
“It started with a commercial,” said his father Matt, who was curious about a note in a song. “Isaac said it’s a G. … He went over to the piano and hit a G.”
The Reflector witnessed the boy’s talent firsthand. He correctly identified the first note played for him — an E-flat — as well as an interval of a third. When asked what the bottom note was, Isaac named it correctly — middle C.
“He just hears stuff in his head,” his mother said. “He would go to the piano and start playing — and things started pouring from his fingers.”
About two years ago, when Isaac was 6 or 7 years old, he started writing songs.
“I have a video of him (and) he said ‘it’s my pondering song.’ He uses arpeggios and said it helps him think,” his mother said.
The Bohnes sent a video of their son playing his “Storytime Live!” theme song to Nelson-Schmidt. The parents said the author was so pleased with it she requested a professional recording, which a family friend produced.
Nelson-Schmidt, during her YouTube videos, has credited Isaac Bohne for composing the tune. Part of his autographed copy of “Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster” includes Nelson-Schmidt writing: “Thank you so much for my wonderful song.”
It took about two weeks for the young Bohne to write the short theme song, which also has lyrics.
“I got a little help from Mom,” he said.
“I just thought it was very cute,” added his mother, who assisted him with one chord. “I never expected this to become anything.”