The Toad and Frog

I can truly say that I believe my mom’s kid’s book, The Frog and The Toad,  is the best book she has written and has had produced in the two dozen or so she has now completed.

It also is probably the most colorful of the lot.  She was worried about finding an accomplished artist to illustrate her books, but she found the best near home.  She had a nephew she had not been around since he was about 10 years old.

He was adopted into her family so she did not know his background since he grew up in Florida until recent years.  He moved to Berea, Ky. after retiring and made contact with her soon afterwards.  He caught her attention while talking with her a year or two later when he mentioned the word “art”. 

It turns out he is an excellent artist with a natural talent.  If you look closely at the pictures in this “frog” book, you will see what I mean.  He is terrific and loves that she is testing his ability to the extreme.  He wants to continue being the artist Mom believes he can be.

The Frog and the Toad was an idea  she created while a young boy was visiting her home this past summer with his grandmother, my mom’s friend for 75 years.  His mother had read a book I had written and sent to his grandmother so when he came to see Mom, he asked if she would write a book about him while he fished in Mom’s pond.  So she did.  Later  last summer she decided to turn her idea for this young boy into a book for other children.

The story of The Frog and The Toad is the result of that young lad’s request for a book to be written about him.

The frog and the toad characters were  chosen because of their likeness to each other except for the color of their skin and their skeletal size.  That is the moral of this story, never judge a book by its color nor a friend by his color if that color is different than your own.

Every book Mom writes for the children has either a moral or a safety lesson that she hopes will remain with the children long after they have grown older  and able to make friends outside their home family.

This particular book, too, has another feature Mom had been thinking about for some time.  She had never heard of it being done but wanted to try to see if it would help children make the most use of the books she kept busily writing. 

For the first time, she added several drawings at the end of the story for the children to color themselves at home after having been read the storyline.  This seems to be a really nice innovation because the parents and children who have contacted her, love the idea.

She feels like the idea of the children coloring some of the characters they learned about in her story will help them to remember the good ideas she passed on to them.  They may not all be from the book they have just finished reading, but will be animal or bird pictures from any of her other books also.  We will have to see if all the moms and dads out there are paying attention to the child’s reactions while the story is being read to them.  If so, there will be more books published by Mom using this method of reinforcement for learning.

Children are like sponges, if they see pictures or hear words that teaches them something important, they will soak up that lesson or story and carry it with them into adulthood.

So far Mom has written about 15 children’s books, some still on the rack to add artwork to and then be published but they are being published about as fast as can be done since children’s books require so much artwork to illustrate the contents.  Far more than books for adults require that is for sure.  In addition to the 15 or so children’s books Mom has written and published she has published more than a half dozen novels and history stories for adults.

Her first two books were published in 2008 and are still on-line selling today.  People have begun using her adult books as reference books all along the Eastern coastal United States since that is the area she was most familiar with.  Others are in the works as we speak and another one will be released soon.

Mom seems to never run out of ideas for writing stories.  She has been writing since she was 12 years old in the seventh grade of school.  It has been in recent years that she has finally found the time to put her ideas to paper and create these books.

Managing the Brown County Democrat for 21 years taught her many things she would need to know when she retired and started writing for fun. 

Mom was recently contacted about a possible movie being made from her Roberts family story book, “Murder, Relatively Speaking.” 

The screenwriters were using that book and extensively interviewing my Mom about her experiences with these mysterious deaths.  Here’s hoping that movie might go well.

But Mom loves writing the simple, easy to read and understand, books for her “child readers” better than any others.   She was a child reader herself during her growing up years and even studied the dictionary, encyclopedia and bible when she ran out of regular books.


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