Film Reel: Carafotes.com
We had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Carafotes, award winning actor, writer and director. His critically acclaimed children’s book series, The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles is his newest project and we know you will love this series as much as we do.
Tell us how you came up with the concept of Charlie Bubbles…
Once upon a time, long ago when my son Charlie was a wee little guy, we were playing. I began to blow bubbles at him. To my amazement, his eyes and face lit up. It was pure joy. His chubby arms tried to play with the bubbles, reaching for them, laughing all the while. I was struck by how a bubble and this boy created such merriment. The idea of the bubbles and Charlie’s delight was inspiring. Charlie Bubbles I thought as I put him down for his nap. I sat at the kitchen window and daydreamed about a boy who could blow a magic bubble that would take him on adventures unknown. Who would he meet? Where would he go? What kind of boy would be? ‘A helpful and loving and kind one’, I thought.
How important is it for children to read books with characters who exemplify selflessness and kindness?
You want to help change the world? Buy a child a book.
It’s so important to help teach our children about empathy and kindness. Any parent can easily look around and see the state of the world. You can’t help to think what we need here is some understanding. Everyone is impatient, rushing around, angry, uptight. ‘I, me, mine.’ One of Charlie Bubbles’ redeeming qualities is that he has empathy. He knows that others have feelings and that those feelings make, which, by the way, studies have proved that empathy makes for happier and healthier children. Just ask anyone in Denmark.
Why should children say “yes” to opportunities as often as possible?
This is a lesson that I have learned through my own life. I’ve said no many times and when you say no, NOTHING happens: zero, nada, zip. You stop yourself from moving forward from opening up your horizons. While we were putting out the second book, “Charlie Bubbles 2 Smartsville” (which has many of these ‘say yes’ moments or lessons in it as well as being a very musical book) my son, Charlie asked me if there would be a third book. I thought about it because there wasn’t even going to be a second book, now he asks me about a third book. Well, it gave me a teachable moment, I immediately said, “YES”. I had no thought in my mind if what a third Charlie Bubbles book would be.
But, I said, “You betcha, and you’re going to help write it”. He fired right back at me with “Charlie Bubbles to Fenway”. So, he went from the inspiration for the first book to “story by” Charlie Carafotes in the Fenway book. See, all you have to do is say, ‘Yes’ and anything’s possible.
Charlie has a “try hard and you can achieve anything” attitude. Why is this so important for kids to learn (and for parents to be reminded of?)
Attitude is so important, because anything you can think of you can do, period. And it’s our job as parents to instill that in their minds. I imagined I could be in the movies when I was a child because my dad told me I was special, that I could be anything I set out to be. My sister Sophia whispered it in my ear, then a teacher told me I had talent and I started to BELIEVE it. Its believing in yourself that gives you the motivation to persevere. That makes all the difference. If I didn’t get that from my family and teachers lord knows what would’ve happened.
Our job is to fill our children with self-esteem, whether they have natural talent or not, we have to teach them that working at something over and over will prepare them for any moment. They have to know that failure is a step towards success. I’m talking about the whole bubble here: boys and girls, moms and dads, baseball, computers, singing, dancing, math, cooking, whatever. It’s about getting back up after falling and believing in yourself.
What is your favorite place Charlie has visited?
That’s easy, we got invited to Fenway Park to meet Big Papi, what a thrill it was for not only Charlie but for me. I mean, I wrote this book and the next thing you know we are standing on the hallowed grounds, a place where my dad took me as a child, I dreamed of playing there like my son does now. He wants to be a Red Sox ballplayer. Suddenly, there we were hanging out in the dugout with Ortiz.
One funny thing that happened while we were in the dugout, Charlie kept asking me where Dustin Pedroia was and if I could bring him over to say hello to him. Lol, see? Self-esteem…
Where can our readers find your books?
“The Adventures Of Charlie Bubbles” storybooks and CD “Sing with Charlie Bubbles” can be found at our website CharlieBubblesBook.com as well as:
And you can check us out on social media:
Youtube: The Adventures Of Charlie Bubbles
Facebook: The Adventures Of Charlie Bubbles
Music CD: SingWithCharlieBubbles
IMDB: Paul Carafotes