West End entrepreneur hopes to inspire young tennis players with new book

Local author Rebecca Gunn Holmes has published a new book, Totally Tennis For Me, which she hopes will spread positive messages amongst a preschool audience.

A new book from a West End entrepreneur Rebecca Gunn Holmes is teaching kids confidence and introducing them to the sport of tennis at the same time.

Homes authored Totally Tennis For Me, a book that follows the path of a preschooler who is trying a new sport, tennis, for the first time. She is nervous about trying something new, but as the book goes on she gets over her fear. She makes new friends, gains confidence, and learns about a new sport.

The book is a natural juxtaposition to Holmes’ business, Toddlers and Tennis, which she started in 2013.

“In coaching my classes I thought it would be great to wrap up the last few minutes of class with a fun tennis story to read to the kids,” Holmes said. “I found that there were not that many tennis books available for the preschool age. So, as a former elementary school teacher and commercial writer, my passion turned not only to coaching tennis to kids, but also to create and write a tennis book for young kids.”

Holmes hopes her young readers take away a lifelong message greater than one surrounding tennis. She hopes to spread positive messages about trying new things and getting over the nervousness that so often comes with it.

“My hope for kids reading my book is that they get inspired to try any new sport, whether it be tennis or something else. I want them to be entertained reading the story and be able to connect to it. As I read my book to my tennis students, the kids think it’s so cool that they practice some of the same techniques in the book as we do in tennis class. They feel the connection. I think this book is great for any child interested in trying a new activity and getting over ‘the butterflies in their belly.'”

Local illustrator Doug Orleski, better known to most as RVA Coffee Stain, worked with Holmes to illustrate her book.

“I feel so lucky to have found Doug as my illustrator. A friend referred several names of local RVA illustrators. After looking at a bunch of all their work, I chose Doug. He is a great guy, easy to work with, and an amazing artist. I am happy that he agreed to be a part of my book team.”

Holmes says some of her biggest passions surround sports and education, and keeping kids healthy and active, which she aims to do through her business and through the inspiration of her book.

“I am so lucky to have the job that I have coaching a sport that I love. I get to be some of these kids’ first introduction to tennis as they are ages 3-5 years old. I want them to graduate from my class asking to go take more tennis lessons.”

Totally Tennis For Me is available at a number of retail locations around town, and online from Dementi Publishing.

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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