Metro Detroit businessman pens book to help career-minded kids, boost literacy

    Choosing your career is one of the most exciting and challenging things a person can do – whether they want to work in business, teach at a school or serve as a lawyer, it can be confusing to select a job for life.

    Andy Gutman

    Detroit-area author Andy Gutman knows that jobs change and careers evolve. After all, the longtime businessman recently started writing books and publishing them as well as creating songs to go with his stories.

    To help young people find out what they want to be and raise funds for three nonprofits he wants to support, Gutman has put out a new book and will donate its sales in January to three organizations that focus on literacy. They are Detroit-based Brilliant Detroit; Southfield-based Beyond Basics; and San Francisco-based Project Night Night. Along with the donation of profits, Gutman has donated books to each of these organizations.

    Gutman’s latest children’s book is called “Charlie the Caterpillar: What Can I Be Today?” The colorful, 38-page story, conceived by Gutman and his daughter Riley, focuses on the dreams that all kids have about what they can be when they grow up. This is Gutman’s fourth children’s book.

    The star character from Gutman’s first book Charlie the Caterpillar (2017), Charlie, returns in this upbeat sequel to spend a day imagining what it would be like to be employed in many different careers. He tries his hand at being a teacher, a lawyer, a zookeeper and more. The story shares the important message that children can pursue any career they can imagine and for which they are passionate. It is a story of hope for children with a message that the world is wide open for them.

    “Who better than Charlie to help us turn those daydreams into reality,” said Gutman. “I want to thank my daughter Riley for helping to create the concept for this book. She is my greatest accomplishment.”

    Earlier this year Gutman released two other books, Even and Pop Lullaby. Each book is richly illustrated, featuring stylized images that pair perfectly with the gentle rhyming words of his stories. Each book is accompanied by a song that allows parents and children to sing and dance along.

    In his day job, Gutman is president of Southfield-based Farbman Group and its related companies. In this other “job,” he is a writer, songwriter and dreamer who tries to see the beauty in the world.

    “Children reading at grade level by third grade have been found to be more successful in life overall,” said Gutman. “As unbelievable as it sounds in this great country, part of the reason children may not read or be behind in reading is that they often lack access to books. It doesn’t have to be that way. I’m excited to be able to donate profits from this book so we can help children reach their full capabilities and live their dreams of whatever they choose to be.”

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    Karen Dybis
    Karen is an editor and writer for Corp! Magazine. She graduated from the University of Michigan and has worked at The Mackinac Island Town Crier, The Kalamazoo Gazette, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram and The Oakland Press. Karen was a Detroit News business writer with stints in retail, workplace issues and personal finance. Dybis also was a blogger on Time magazine's "Assignment: Detroit" project. She is author of four Michigan history books, including "Secret Detroit" and "The Witch of Delray."