Archive for the ‘Children's Books/Reading’ Category

Free Spring Book Reading & Book Signing with Author Joe Sutton, “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” at Barnes & Noble River Oaks

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Joe Sutton will sign his children's book, "Wanda and the Oblahlahs" this Sunday, April 29, noon, as part of the St. Anne Catholic School Book Fair.  The reading and signing will be at Barnes & Noble River Oaks, 2030 West Gray.  For info, call 713-522-8538.
WHO: Houston-based Joe Sutton is a successful downtown energy executive who published a children’s book, “Wanda and the Oblahlahs,” (Bright Sky Press) based on a story the dreamed up for his children and has been stored away in the attic for 35 years. The resourceful father, then a U.S. Army Colonel, realized an effective way to get his message across to his children was to tell the girls stories with carefully disguised lessons.

WHEN: Meet Joe Sutton Sunday, April 29, 12 P.M. (Noon) for a “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” Reading and Book Signing – Barnes & Noble River Oaks, 2030 West Gray St., Houston 77019 (713) 522-8571 The FREE reading and book signing will be held as part of St. Anne Catholic School Book Fair.

WHAT: Meet Wanda. She loves chewing gum. She chews gum all day long: while she plays with her dog Moldy and her little brother Rocky, while she’s singing, even during school. And that’s okay with her mother, as long as it’s sugarless gum. Wanda’s parents have one rule about all this gum chewing: every night before she goes to bed, Wanda has to deposit her gum right in the trashcan. But what happens when Wanda’s parents go out to dinner and the babysitter doesn’t know the rule? Sometimes even the best child tries to push the envelope. And sometimes the consequences are surprising. When Wanda goes to sleep with gum in her mouth, the Oblahlahs move in. These colorful little creatures throw such a party in her mouth that she can’t chew gum any more. In fact, she can’t even talk. Her parents can’t help, Rocky and Moldy can’t help, even the doctor is at a loss. It’s all up to her. As Wanda lies in bed trying to rid herself of the pesky Oblahlahs, following the rules starts to seem like a much better idea than it ever has before.

WHY: 1) To remind readers of the power of shared stories to create strong families; &

2) To help support children who may not have loving families to share stories with them, Sutton will donate the proceeds of book sales to Children at Risk to support programs to combat child trafficking. A percentage of the sales that day will go to St. Anne Catholic School as well.

Parent/Child Bonding: Wanda’s misadventures turned story time into a beloved family tradition. The character Sutton dreamed up personified the young girl who did everything she shouldn’t, including chewing her gum all day and night. Sutton’s tales of encounters with the colorful Oblahlahs always made doing the right thing seem like the best choice for his daughters.

History: To Megan’s delight, three years ago she came across the vintage Wanda stories with their original illustrations by her Aunt Jane, a fine artist. They were in her parents’ attic, in tact after the family’s 23 moves. With Megan’s encouragement, her father has published “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” to bring the age-old story back to life for the next generation, including Joe’s five grandchildren. The book will appeal to parents and grandparents who will find that Wanda’s antics do more to illustrate the importance of minding than any amount of parental nagging.

“My father was blessed with the gift of story telling and as far back as I can remember he always put us to bed with a story or two,” said Megan. “I also recall a small tray beside my bed that I would put my gum in before I went to sleep. I didn’t want to get the ‘Oblahlahs!’” # # #

Contact:

Susan Farb Morris

Susan Farb Public Relations

5203 Braeburn Drive

Bellaire TX 77401
713.661.7377 (office)
 713.805.2608 (mobile)

susan@farbulous.com

www.farbulous.com

PR Fairy in Action: “Gifts That Give Back” on KHOU/CBS “Great Day Houston”

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The PR Fairy was working overtime on this one.

I pitched CBS KHOU-TV’s “Great Day Houston” on a story about “Gifts That Give Back,” highlighting, of course, my client’s children’s book, “Wanda and the Oblahlahs.” Proceeds of all the sales of the Houston-based children’s book benefit Children At Risk in their efforts to combat child trafficking in our society.

The producer loved the idea for the show, but said she needed other items to show on Deborah Duncan’s Houston-based talk show. That’s when the PR Fairy went into overdrive.

I turned to Facebook and posted my need to find other gifts with a social conscience. I received a myriad of responses, including from the publisher of Bright Sky Press, who said they had several more books in addition to “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” that benefited nonprofit organizations. Sun & Ski Sports, a Houston-based company that I worked with this summer on a TOMS Shoes Back-to-School promotion, noted that they were selling Blue Cure Foundation T-shirts benefiting a prostate cancer education organization founded by Gabe Canales.

My next move was to contact the M.D. Anderson Children’s Art Project to see if they could provide an array of gift items that benefit pediatric cancer patients and projects at the famed Cancer Center. I also asked Sun & Ski if they could provide TOMS Shoes, TOMS sunglasses and a Sun & Ski spokesperson to talk about TOMS One-for-One initiative on the air.

It took dozens of phone calls, emails and follow-up phone calls and emails to the “Great Day Houston” producer and the various representatives of the participating entities: Bright Sky Press, Children At Risk, Sun & Ski Sports, Blue Cure Foundation and M.D. Anderson Children’s Art Project "Gifts That Give Back on CBS KHOU-TV's "Great Day Houston"to make it happen. In the end, each spokesperson was so well-versed in his or her socially-conscious products; it made for great TV. “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” got its due mentions, plus the appearance of the life-size cut-out of Wanda on camera — as did the other groups represented.

It was a win-win for all. I hope that you’ll watch the segment to see how seamlessly it all came together.

# # #

Holiday Gift Ideas from Houston Chronicle Gift Guide

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The Houston Chronicle published its annual Holiday Gift Guide on Thanksgiving Day and included “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” (www.wandabooks.com) on the children’s page.
Joe Sutton’s cautionary tale is a wonderful storybook to share with your children and it makes for a very meaningful gift in that all proceeds from its sales benefit Children At Risk to support programs to help bring a halt to child trafficking.

# # #"Wanda and the Oblahlahs" highlighted in Houston Chronicle Holiday Gift Guide

Energy Executive and Former Army Colonel Regales His Children, Grandchildren ‘Wanda and the Oblahlahs’ Story Lost in Attic for 35 Years

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
"Wanda and the Oblahlahs" Children's book by Joe Sutton

“As a young parent I tried every which way to get my daughters to mind their mom and me. One of the challenges was to get them to toss out their chewing gum at bedtime,” said Sutton, the grandfather of four, with one on the way. “One approach that worked well was to tell the girls stories with carefully disguised lessons.”

Sutton, a successful Houston-based energy executive, says Wanda’s misadventures turned story time into a beloved family tradition. The character he dreamed up personified the young girl who did everything she shouldn’t, including chewing her gum all day and night. The tales, ranging from encounters with the obstreperous Oblahlahs to the weird green man, always made doing the right thing seem like the best choice.

His eldest daughter, Gretchen (Sutton Setrum), remembers asking her Dad repeatedly to tell her the Wanda story as a child. “What an imagination he had! I did chew gum all of the time

and I believe he came up with the story to deter me from chewing gum at night,” said Gretchen, whose daughter, Mallory, 12, has fond memories of her granddad’s bedtime stories as well.

“My father was blessed with the gift of story telling and as far back as I can remember he always put us to bed with a story or two,” said Megan (Sutton-Reed), now married and the mother of son, Brady. “I remember asking to hear the ‘Wanda’ story on several of those evenings and when friends would spend the night, they, too, would ask to hear the story,” she reminisced. “I also recall a small tray beside my bed that I would put my gum in before I went to sleep. I didn’t want to get the ‘Oblahlahs!’”

To her delight, 3 years ago Megan found the vintage Wanda stories with their original illustrations by her Aunt Jane. They were in an old shopping bag in her parents’ attic, in tact after 23 moves. With Megan’s encouragement, her father decided to publish “Wanda and the Oblahlahs” to bring the age-old story back to life for the next generation, including his own grandchildren, Mallory, Delaney, Brady, Jackson and soon to be Braxton. The book will appeal to parents and grandparents who will find that Wanda’s antics do more to illustrate the importance of minding than any amount of parental nagging. Most importantly, Wanda reminds readers of the power of shared stories to create strong families.

“To this day, my father is still a gifted story teller. He continues the tradition by telling my five-year-old son, Brady, the ‘Wanda’ story and it is by far one of his all-time favorite stories,” added Megan.

To help support children who may not have loving families to share stories with them, Sutton will donate a significant portion of the proceeds of the book sales to Children at Risk: Speaking Out and Driving Change for Children. The action-focused non-profit organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life of Texas’ children through strategic research, community education, collaboration and advocacy.

“Wanda and the Oblahlahs is an instant classic bedtime story that teaches children a simple truth…listen to your parents!,” said Dr. Bob Sanborn, Children at Risk President and CEO. “It is a whimsical tale that will delight children of all ages. Not only that, but it will also benefit the work of CHILDREN AT RISK and all that they do to change the lives of children across Texas. We could not be more proud to partner with Joe Sutton on this exciting endeavor.”

Wanda and the Oblahlahs will be available for purchase this summer at www.brightskypress.com and in fine Houston-area bookstores in September 2011.
# # #
About the Author: Joe Sutton, a former Army Colonel who works in the energy industry and lives in The Woodlands, Texas, with his wife Suzanne.

About the Illustrator: Jane Sutton Frawley – Jane created the illustrations for Wanda and the Oblahlahs more than 30 years ago to accompany her brother’s story. The mother of two children, Jane is an accomplished artist who earned her bachelors and masters degrees in fine art from Marshall University. She currently lives in Meggett, South Carolina.

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