‘Your forever friend’: New e-commerce business starts up selling anxiety-reducing book
What: Magical Order of Brave Knights
Rob Marchi likes dinosaurs.
His youngest child, Cooper, does not. He especially didn’t around age 4.
When Marchi, of Grass Valley, began sharing his appreciation of the extinct animals, those ideas began terrorizing Cooper’s imagination, as he often thought of them chasing and eating him. The nightmarish scenarios manifested into worse outcomes, and became runaway cycles of fear.
Not surprising, Cooper couldn’t sleep, which became hard for Rob’s wife, Colleen Marchi.
“Already my wife was exhausted having a 2- and 4-year-old,” he said.
Tired and running out of ideas to help her son, Cooper’s mom asked why he felt terrorized. He explained what his terror felt like, sounded like — how it grew in his imagination.
“We just stopped trying to make it better and really tried to listen to what it felt like,” she said.
They also provided him a bear dressed in a knight costume, called Sir William, who, they said, was meant to protect Cooper.
Years later, the Marchis opened the e-commerce company Magical Order of Brave Knights, which sells many things, including a storybook, signs and the brave knight himself, Sir William, to help kids alleviate their anxieties, possibly helping them sleep.
SIR WILLIAM THE BRAVE KNIGHT
When Sir William, a bear dressed in a knight’s outfit, became Cooper’s protector, his parents told him to report his fears to Sir William. They also provided Sir William a flashlight.
“Anywhere Sir William’s light shines, nothing will come in,” Colleen said, recalling that night years ago. “Your room is now protected. It’s marked safe and protected.”
That night, and each subsequent one, Cooper slept soundly.
And although Sir William had served his purpose, Cooper had many questions about him, his mother said. The more Cooper asked about where Sir William came from, the more his mom told him, the more the story expanded.
The story became so elaborate that, at some point, Marchi’s husband encouraged her to write a book. She took online courses and went to writer’s workshops, and in September the story of the Magical Order of Brave Knights, which began when Cooper was four years old, hit the market.
The book’s illustrator, who works for EA Games, included a memento of Colleen’s brother in the kid’s book. (The brother died in a flying incident in South Korea while on military duty, and his plane is featured throughout the pages of the Magical Order of Brave Knights storybook.)
The Marchis report that the bear and subsequent book have helped many kids.
One girl, they said, was afraid to get her ears pierced. When her mom brought Sir William to get his ears pierced with the young girl, the girl felt brave enough to do it herself.
Cooper has heard other stories, and tried other bears, but there was something unique about Sir William, and his greater story. At the end of the book, Sir William pledges his honor to protect a child.
It reads: “To prince (Cooper), I, Sir William, will be your forever friend and protect you for life,” his mother said.
A portion of the proceeds made by Magical Order goes to Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which assists the families of first responder firefighters or military officers who have died in the line of duty.
While Sir William has eased Cooper’s fears, Rob Marchi said his youngest son is still uninterested in dinosaurs. Driving in the car one day, he pointed out imagined dinosaurs in the forest, which immediately struck his child with dread. His wife just glared at him.
“And we dropped it,” Rob said.
To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4219.
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