Local music teacher and musician Sand Sheff holds a copy of his new children’s book, “Eclipse Miracle.” [Courtesy photo]

After his children’s book “Eclipse Miracle: The Sun is the Same Size as The Moon in The Sky” was published in May, author and illustrator Sand Sheff hit the road, driving along the totality path of the upcoming solar eclipse, from Newport, Oregon, to Nashville, selling his books along the way to bookstores, gift shops, visitor centers and chambers of commerce.

The local musician, hay farmer and music teacher said the book was a long time in the making – since he first realized 20 years ago that the sun and the moon appear the same size in the sky because the sun, which is 400 times larger, is also 400 times farther away.

The road trip was an attempt by Sheff to recoup his investment in publishing the book – he’s already just about broken even, and may need to order more copies, he said.

While the idea for the story came to Sheff two decades ago, with the approach of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, he decided it was time to complete the project, he said.

The story centers on a little girl who hops a ride on a comet to find the answers as to why the sun and moon appear to be exactly the same size in the sky. In addition to a story that touches upon the sacred, the book includes an eight-page science section with various eclipse facts and figures.

“It’s spiritual, too,” Sheff said. “God made this earth and he made it with love. I wanted to express the absolute amazing reality of it.”

Though he espouses no particular religious denomination, Sheff said he felt the need to write the book to express the “spiritual wonder” of the celestial event.

The fact that the moon appears to fit over the sun perfectly when humans peer up at the sky during an eclipse is a “wonderful and neglected fact,” Sheff said.

“I find that the most fascinating aspect of the eclipse.”

In addition to being sold in a variety of venues across the country, the children’s book is available locally at Back of Beyond Books, and at the Red Cliffs Lodge gift shop, located at milepost 14 on state Route 128 – where Sheff regularly performs music for guests. The book is also available online at www.sandsheff.com.

Sheff once worked as a wrangler and a landscaper at Red Cliffs Lodge.

“He’s good at writing,” lodge general manager Charley Every said. “We carry his CDs. Anything he does we want on our property.”

“We started selling the books two months ago,” lodge manager Judy Bane said. “We’ve had two reorders, already.”

The book’s text is written in a rhyming, songlike format, Sheff said.

Sheff plans to view the Aug. 21 solar eclipse on the west side of the Grand Teton Mountains, in its path of totality, he said.

“I see (the eclipse) as a sign of hope, a sign of unity,” he said, because “it is visible to everybody; you can look up and see the message in the sky” – which explains the book cover’s illustration of people standing on top of the world, holding hands.

Sheff is also author of a book for adults, “Real is Good: Reality, Freedom and the Computer Network.”

Moab musician, teacher pens children’s book about the eclipse

“I see (the eclipse) as a sign of hope, a sign of unity.”

For more information, go to: www.sandsheff.com/eclipse-miracle-book.html.