Ephrata illustrator publishes children’s book

By on July 6, 2016

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Now that she has had a taste of the publishing world, Heather Fox is ready for more.

Fox is a graphic designer and illustrator from Ephrata. She is currently finishing her degree at Kutztown University in communication design.

Fox, in collaboration with Jonathan Stutzman, an award-winning independent filmmaker and author from Central Pennsylvania, recently self published the picture book “The Elephant’s Nose.” It is their first children’s book.

According to a press release, “The Elephant’s Nose” is a whimsical, vibrant story about how an ordinary elephant named Monty (and his nose) save the forest. The book is based on the classic folktale by Rudyard Kipling, and is retold for contemporary readers by Stutzman and illustrated by Fox.

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Sleepy clouds, a greedy crocodile, and a drought stretching across the land are just some of the obstacles facing the cute hero Monty in his search for water, the release says. A search that will not only save the forest, but change elephants’ noses forever.

Colorful and amusing illustrations are the backdrop of this delightful adventure about an elephant, his nose, and the benefits of change. “The Elephant’s Nose” is a fun and adorable introduction into folklore for children and adults alike, the release said.

“The book started out as a school illustration project for (me), but we decided to turn it into a book basically because we thought, why not,” said Fox, “since we had always wanted to publish one. We also thought this particular story would be fun for kids and also a good introduction into folklore and classic literature.”

Fox said this is their first foray into publication so they decided to skip agents and publishers “and just publish the book ourselves.”

“Though we may have cut out some of the stress and wait time that goes along with breaking into the publishing industry, we definitely didn’t cut out any of the work,” she said. “We had to do all the formatting, editing, advertising, marketing, and promotion ourselves.”

Fox said it’s a difficult process to promote your own work.

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“I think writers and artists inherently find it difficult to promote what they make because we are very critical of our work; we would rather hide away and eat Chinese food and make new things instead. But it is something you have to do,” she said. “It’s a continual learning process, and it definitely hasn’t deterred us from wanting to make more!

Fox said they just finished their second book, an original story, which is currently being shopped to agents.

“We are also beginning work on a third book and have multiple ideas for other stories waiting in the wings until we have time,” she said. “So be on the look out for more books coming soon!”

“The Elephant’s Nose” is available at Firefly Bookstore, 230 W. Main St., Kutztown, or online at amazon.com. Bookstores, universities, libraries, and other small or large volume purchases can order directly from Fox 517-6232.

“The Elephant’s Nose” also has a Facebook page.

 

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