Crystal Lake mom Carolyn Starks wants to help your kids love
reading and writing. But if her new publishing company's books just
give them a laugh, that's good, too.
Shown the door by the Chicago Tribune during downsizing, Starks
created Storybuilders. Harnessing the creativity of writers and
illustrators she respects, the company is creating customized,
interactive books that are fun for pre-teens to read. Its first
book, by Elmhurst dad John Keilman, Spies Inc. The Adventures of
Dash Danger, is reportedly already seeing strong sales online.
Storybuilders' new book, bark. run. nap. repeat., should appeal
especially to dog lovers.
"I want them to be books that kids love, books that kids can't
wait to get their hands on," Starks says. "It's really important
for me to create something that does something good for the world
and in this aspect, that might sound sort of ridiculous for a
little book. Something that really helps kids in some way, even if
that's just to make them laugh."
At the same time, she's found a creative outlet for her writing
and editing skills and a job that allows her to be home with her
kids, age 9 and 7.
In The Adventures of Dash Danger, a fifth-grade boy is sent on a
mission by the school bully to snag a secret cupcake frosting
recipe from the lunch lady. He turns to his favorite book hero,
Dash Danger, for help. The book is filled with writing prompts to
get kids into the story without making it feel like school
"I like that it really captures their attention and has a long
shelf life," Starks says.
The book is available for fundraisers, where $5 of every book's
purchase price goes to the fundraiser. "I really think the book is
that good. My goal is getting it into many kids' hands," Starks
Another Spies Inc. book will be out early in 2011.
Tamara is the editor of Chicago Parent and mom of three.
See more of Tamara's stories here.
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