By Damion Smalls
Anthony Moore, originally from Casa Blanca, released the first book of children’s literature series in December 2018. The title, “The SandBox Kids,” is based on the story of Moore’s life, which saw many hardships in his youth in which he attempted to overcome with his vivid imagination.
Casa Blanca is a small town in Riverside, California. Born into a home decimated by domestic violence, Moore was introduced to bad habits at an early age. By the time he was 13, Moore was an alcoholic. A major change soon after saw him moving in with his grandmother, whose stability and affection gave him a new lease on life.
Moore describes his grandmother’s residence as a “safe haven” away from the chaotic home he was raised in with five other siblings and rampant abuse. As Moore grew up, he found help from people of different cultures as he changed his life around. Moore “found Christ in Atlanta” and pursued a life of sobriety as an adult. Moore has since relocated to Charleston, remained sober, and is a now a father and husband.
“I said that one day I would give back to the people that raised me,” Moore promised. Thus, “The Sandbox Kids” series took shape. Originating in his grandmother’s backyard sandbox, Danielle, Slim Carl, Sasha, and Smooth Bass are four individuals from Moore’s imagination that represented the friendship that God bestowed unto him when he was lonely and lost.
Religion plays a huge role in Moore’s life. The Sandbox Kids “are champions for Christ and here to save children like Anthony, who are suffering from pain and misfortune,” Page 11 of the book tells. “Help is on the way!”
Danielle is both a guitar player and singer. Although growing up in poverty in China, she is respected in her community for her lionhearted personality and musical skills. Danielle works at her family’s farmer’s market and follows their optimistic Christian beliefs of a better future through good works and prayer.
Slim Carl plays the drums and chips in at his family’s farm in rural Georgia. His long arms help him become adept at playing drums, which he does at church and with his band at ease.
Sasha is a budding singer that prays and plays music with her family. Residing in Mexico, she dedicates her life to aiding underserved communities and dreams of headlining her own Christian band.
Smooth Bass, also known as Tony, is a talented singer and bass guitar player. He’s a Long Beach native that is known by many for his superb performances in his father’s church and at the park.
The Christian animated book series strives to empower kids of different backgrounds to come together while loving and respecting themselves. “The SandBox Kids” was illustrated by Elmano Hamilton and edited by Kimberly Bowman. The book is available in is paperback and digital versions on Amazon.com. At thesandboxkidschs.com, books and merchandise can be bought. A soundtrack for the series is being planned for release.
Moore will introduce the second book in the trilogy, “On My Way,” at the upcoming SandBox Kids Community Gathering. The goal of the event is to develop reciprocal relationships within the Charleston area community by networking and congregate people of all races and beliefs to glorify each other’s presence and agency.
The SandBox Kids Community Gathering will be held at Eastside Baptist Church (584 Meeting St.) Saturday, April 13 from 11am to 2pm. Admission is free. Representatives from MUSC Health, Exquisite Enterprises Inc., and Liberating Lives will be on hand as guest speakers. For more information, contact [email protected], (678) 914-5399, and follow The Sandbox Kids on Facebook.