Businesswoman pens ‘whale’ of a book for kids
NEWTOWN BOROUGH -- First there was “The Zebra-Striped Whale with the Polka-Dot Tail.” Now, there’s a new pageturner for kids - “The Zebra-Striped Whale Alphabet Book.”
Shari Faden Donahue has done it again, this time with an illustrated children’s picture book.
In her new book, targeted to pre-schoolHUV, NinGHUgDUWHnHUV DnG fiUVW DnG VHFRnG graders, not to mention their parents and grandparents, Faden Donahue uses humorous rhymes as she associates each letter of the alphabet with an animal behaving in a most unreal or unusual way.
For example, B is for bunny baking with honey. M is for mouse mopping at her house. And P is for parrot painting with a carrot. Can you guess what Z is for? “AV Dn DGGHG ERnuV, NiGV finG WhHPVHOvHV lingering on each letter of the alphabet as they hunt for the tiny zebra-striped whale embedded in the artwork of every alphabet page,” Faden Donahue said.
The book is whimsically illustrated by Thalamus, the collaborative artistic effort of Faden Donahue and her husband, Tom, who own and operate the popular Zebra-Striped Whale Ice Cream and Coffee Cafe on Newtown’s State Street.
“Tom always loved to doodle but never illustrated a book before,” Faden Donahue said.
7hH FRuSOH, ZhR hDV OivHG in 8SSHU 0DNHfiHOG 7RZnship for 18 years, enthusiastically experimented with Tom’s pencil doodles by scanning them into an Apple iMac computer and bringing them to life with Adobe Photoshop.
“AW fiUVW WhH iOOuVWUDWiRnV ORRNHG EDViF DnG UuGiPHnWDry,” she said. “However, we could see that we had something special in our combined artistic stylization.”
For would-be authors, Faden Donahue said, “If you have the passion for writing or illustrating, follow your dream. Stick with it, don’t give up, and do your best to achieve excellence.
“When you believe in something with all of your heart, you’ll accomplish your goals,” she said. “Always stay clear of naysayers.”
Faden Donahue opened her own publishing company, Arimax Books, over 20 years ago when she published hHU fiUVW ERRN.
Her company is named for the couple’s two daughters, Maxime, 27, and Ariele, 23.
Books were a major part of family life for the Donahues. “Our nightly bed time ritual was reading a minimum of three children’s picture books when our children were little,” she said.
“Every two to three weeks, my children and I would go to the local library and ‘borrow’ 30 or so children’s picture books at a clip -- as many as our bags would hold!”
Her personal favorite is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, a collage artist. “I am a children’s picture book collector,” she said, noting that many children’s books can be found in ice cream shop and cafe.
Faden Donahue started writing just after her father passed away more than 20 years ago. “He loved books and was an avid reader,” she said. “My love and admiration for him sparked my desire to write and illustrate in his memory.”
She has published seven titles through Arimax Books to date.
There’s nothing more exciting than writing and illustrating a children’s picture book, said Faden Donahue.