Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Husband-and-Wife Writing Team Bring 'Douglas the Duck' to Print; She's the Wordsmith, He's the Illustrator for the Children's Book

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Husband-and-Wife Writing Team Bring 'Douglas the Duck' to Print; She's the Wordsmith, He's the Illustrator for the Children's Book

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY HURST

YULEE - A husband-and-wife team have found a new avocation they not only feel is important, but rewarding, as well.

Stephanie Mayberry has written, and her husband Brad, has illustrated a children's book, Douglas the Duck and the Meeting Place, designed for primary schoolchildren.

Douglas the Duck explains the importance of having a family meeting place in case of a fire or other disaster.

They're hoping it will be the first in a series explaining safety and emergency tips to children.

The next book, Stephanie Mayberry said, is in her head. Daddy Duck, a firefighter, will go to Douglas' school to teach children how to use a fire extinguisher and why it's important not to play with matches or lighters.

The Mayberrys' knowledge of fire safety comes firsthand. He is a Fernandina Beach firefighter. She is a stay-at-home mom with their 17-month-old son, Aiden, and is expecting the couple's second child.

"There used to be a fireman that would go out to schools with puppets and talk about fire safety," she said. "But he retired. So we felt there was a void."

Douglas the Duck will recur in the series. They choose a duck character because "Duck" is Brad Mayberry's nickname from his fellow firefighters.

Stephanie Mayberry says she was never great in English, but her husband was an artist from birth. He graduated from Florida State University as an art major before going to Florida Community College at Jacksonville to become a firefighter.

"Stephanie and worked on the illustrations together," he said. "She told me what she envisioned for them, and I drew them. I've always loved doing my art. And this has been a lot of fun because I could do it with my wife."

They found their publisher, High Pitched Hum Publishing, in Jacksonville by chance.

When Stephanie Mayberry was researching how to get the book published, she met an author at Borders bookstore in Jacksonville, whose best friend was a cooperative publisher. …

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