BOUNTIFUL Р Even the Jazz Bear had to start somewhere.
Bountiful resident Aron Simkins has imagined an official history for the well-known mascot in his new book, “Dream Big: the Journey of the Jazz Bear.” Set to be released Sept. 11, the book is officially recognized by the Utah Jazz.
“He’s such an iconic character in Utah, and I started wondering what his story was,” said Simkins. “When I asked the guys in the Jazz, their response was ‘We don’t know, either.’”
So he started piecing a story together in his head about a bear who wants to do something with his life, and did three sample illustrations before presenting it to Jazz officials.
“They loved it,” said Simkins. “They wondered why they hadn’t thought of it before.”
The book, which is illustrated by David Abegg and Mike Kamanski, was originally set to be released during the 2011 NBA walkout. When the walkout led to missed games, however, publisher Cedar Fort decided to push the date back to co-incinde with this fall’s upcoming basketball season.
“I love the Jazz, but my kids really love the Jazz Bear,” said Simkins. “When we go to games, my son looks for the bear the whole time.”
A release party for the book will be held Sept. 8 from 12-2 p.m. at the Fanzz store at Fashion Place Mall. The Jazz bear will be at the release party, and Simkins said the mascot would try to get to as many book signings as possible.
Both Simkins and the bear will also be at the upcoming Mascot Bowl in Lehi this September. The bear will be participating, and Simkins will be on hand to sign books. More information about the book, book signings and pre-ordering can be found at jazzbearbook.com.