Jason Flom reading ‘Lulu Is A Rhinoceros’ to the children at CMEE.
Last month, CMEE was thrilled to host Jason Flom reading his new children’s book, Lulu is a Rhinoceros. Jason is an American music industry executive and the current CEO of Lava Records, a company he founded in 1995. Throughout his career, he has served as the Chairman and CEO of Atlanta Records, Virgin Records and Capitol Music Group. You can also add podcast host and philanthropist to his long yet exciting resume. Earlier this year, he added his newest title–children’s book author.
Jason, along with his daughter Allison Flom, published their first children’s book, Lulu Is A Rhinoceros, a journey about courage, individuality, and self-confidence with adorable illustrations by Sophie Corrigan. A portion of all proceeds from the book are being donated to the African Wildlife Foundation to help protect Africa’s endangered wildlife.
We were honored to speak with Mr. Flom after his reading at the Museum.
What was the inspiration for Lulu is a Rhinoceros?
I just had this idea that popped into my head, the story of this little creature struggling for acceptance. And then the idea for the cover popped into my head, of Lulu looking into a mirror and a rhino looking back at her.
What’s your bulldog, Lulu like in real life?
Lulu loves hiking in the woods, paddle-boarding, swimming/wading, and skateboarding, but most of all she loves taking naps and being loved. We’ve developed a very close bond. So close, in fact, that she and I communicate telepathically. A few years ago, Lulu told me that I should stop eating meat, so I did. She said, “You can’t love me yet tacitly support an industry that abuses and slaughters other four-legged creatures.” She really does identify as a rhino. A few years ago I went to Africa and was able to spend time with rhinos in the wild; they became sort of like spirit animals to me. And there are some striking similarities between bulldogs and rhinos. They’re both generally stationary beings, and then once in a while, they charge. They both have stubby legs, big bodies and big heads. And they both snort and snore in a lovely, magical, rhythmic way.
What do you hope children learn from the book?
Tolerance; embracing all living beings and treating them with kindness. Anti-bullying, and of course, individuality. Lulu is a small creature with a big heart who is determined to be accepted and loved as and for who she is, not what she looks like. Through her journey, she encounters skeptics, bullies, and even misplaced sympathy, but she perseveres. She’s brave, she’s kind, and she knows who she is. That makes her, in my view, a profile of courage.
What were some of your favorite books growing up?
As a child, Where The Wild Things Are. As a young adult, Les Misérables.
You co-wrote the book with your daughter, Allison. What was like to collaborate with her?
My daughter Allison is working on her master’s degree in creative writing and is very socially conscious. She spends her time working in women’s theater, with U.N. groups and advocating for social justice. I asked her to help me because she’s a much better writer than I am!
As a father, what’s the best piece of parenting advice you ever received?
My dad, the legendary lawyer Joe Flom, was my hero and my mentor, and he instilled in my brother and me at an early age, “Do whatever you want to do. Try to be the best at it. But just make the world a better place. If you can do that then you’ll be a success in my eyes.”
What do you enjoy most about the East End of Long Island?
Paddleboarding, golfing, kayaking and just being in nature!
To purchase a copy of Lulu Is A Rhinoceros, click here.