Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Robert & Dinny St. John Release New Children's Book

Currently out on book tour, Robert and Dinny St. John are traveling the state having fun promoting their new children's book "Fred The Red Frog".  Here is what the mother and son duo share about this collaborative endeavor.

Robert, where did the idea for Fred The Red Frog come from? 

When my children were young it was my wife who was in charge of putting the kids to bed on most nights. She always read them stories from various children’s books. When I put them to bed I told stories. Most of the stories were centered on a frog I named Fred that lived by the back steps of my boyhood home.

In these stories I told my kids that Fred and a boy named Bobby went on wonderfully fun misadventures. The kids loved them and requested the Fred stories over the books we already had on the shelves.

One day I sat down and put one to rhyme. That is the story which made it into this book. 

Most people know you as a chef and restaurateur. What was your goal in writing a children's book?

It was mainly due to the response of my children. They are teenagers now, but they loved the stories of Fred’s adventures.

Why did you decide that your mother should illustrate this book?

I love collaborating with people, whether it’s in business or creative pursuits. The greatest joys of my professional career have been the three books I co-authored with Wyatt Waters.

Marshall Ramsey and I also collaborated on a book several years ago and we had fun doing that.

My mom taught art for 50 years. She just retired this year at the ripe, young age of 81. I had a blast collaborating with her and look forward to continuing the book tour as we travel around the state to different schools, kindergartens and daycare centers.

Ms. Dinny, what medium did you use to illustrate this book? Also, tell us a little about your involvement in the book.

I used Prismacolor Coloring Pencil to create each illustration.

Robert brought me what he had written. He asked me if I would do the illustrations. It took a while to do it. I remember him letting Holleman showing them at the school library for show and tell. Robert read the book and Holleman showed the pictures.

Ms. Dinny, you are a retired art teacher. How long did you teach, and what do you hope this book accomplishes?

I have taught art since 1968 at a number of places including Hattiesburg Public Schools, Presbyterian Christian School in Hattiesburg, MS, William Carey University, and The University of Southern Mississippi.

I hope that children really enjoy the book. The story is different and interesting. I think they will enjoy the story of “Fred the Red Frog”.

Do you want to meet the author and illustrator? For a list of book signings and tours, CLICK HERE.

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