Imagine if you couldn't hear your heartbeat...

...and that's the predicament young Henry Hippo found himself in. He couldn't hear his heartbeat, and he was pretty sure it was pretty important to have a heartbeat. So, he decided to do something about it.

Back when I was attending the Institute of Children's Literature, I had an assignment to write a story using an animal as the lead character. After a few starts with other animals I came up with a hippo. I noticed hippos weren't being used all that much in children's writing.

So...Henry was "born".

I figured most of the youngest kids would understand how important it is to be able to hear your heartbeat. I've seen how interested they are to lean their ears on their mom or dad's chest and hear a beating heart. Then, they get curious about "what's going on in there?". Then I wanted to use an animal whose ears would be a long way from his heart...and bingo! A hippo.

Once I knew I wanted to develop this story into a picture book, the plot thickened...so to speak. I began to think about where I'd find an illustrator I could work with. After looking into several areas online and locally, I decided to give it a go myself. I got a digital drawing tablet, installed some software on my MacBook, and started my "etchings". The great news was that it was a blast...not a chore at all. So I emerged myself into the drawings for "Henry", his hippo friends, and all the other characters and scenery. I was hooked. Now, there's the illustrated ebook, the song (in the video above), and even my personal narrated audio version.

Currently I'm working on the 7th one of my ebooks for kids. And I'm truly blessed and thankful for the technology that gives me the freedom to pursue this really fun writing career. Much more to come, so...

Stay tuned,

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