Fairfield man – with help from wife and daughter – releases first children’s book
FAIRFIELD – Theodore Valentine’s book, “Adventures of Lexi the Giraffe and Friends: Lexi Goes to School,” is a family affair.
He came out over the summer. The inspiration surfaced in June 2016, when Sandie Valentine, his wife, hosted a baby shower for the couple’s eldest daughter.
Sandie Valentine asked her youngest daughter, Alexia Valentine, to create a baby shower guest book that anyone could sign and it could be framed. The creation was a young giraffe holding a bunch of balloons that anyone can sign.
“The minute I saw the giraffe, it took me back to when our daughters were kids and saw the world through the innocent eyes of a child, and how Alexia still loves giraffes,” said explained Theodore Valentine in an email. âI turned to my wife and said, ‘This should be a children’s book about an adventure of life experiences through the innocent eyes of our children.’ “
His wife suggested that he write it down. This started the series “The Adventures of Lexi the Giraffe and Her Friends”.
Sandie Valentine edited the book. Alexia Valentine was the illustrator. She now works for Nickelodeon.
âIt created a different dynamic, all of us working together and balancing our opinions and ideas,â Theodore Valentine explained in an email. âIt gave us a living example of how three people could look at the same handwriting and have three completely different images in our minds. It was fun and exciting.
âThere were challenges and I think that motivated us to be excited about the next books to come, an array of different life experiences and creating fun and teachable moments throughout this exciting journey,â said writes the author.
Valentine said he was considering a 10-book series. The second book, âAdventures of Lexi the Giraffe and Friends: Fruit and Vegetable Extravaganza,â is in writing.
“The Adventures of Lexi the Giraffe” is her second book published by Author House Publishing. His first, in 2008, was “Breaking Through: A Common Sense Guide to Losing and Keeping Weight”.
âIt was another attempt on my part to give back and share some of the knowledge I learned during the ’80s choreography routines for competitive bodybuilders,â he wrote. “Including my wife Sandie who in 1984 won the titles of Ms. Western America, Ms. Michelangelo and Ms. California (short class).”
Valentine grew up in Southern California.
His father died when he was 5 years old. The impact was profound on his mother. He felt like she had never recovered from the loss of the love in her life.
The family moved to the Los Angeles area, including South Central, where Valentine witnessed the Watts riots in her youth, and East Los Angeles.
He met his wife at Berendo Junior High School, the oldest operating middle school in Los Angeles. They have been married for almost 45 years.
Theodore Valentine began a musical career as a rock bassist by night and classical cellist by day.
His background, in addition to music, has included reproduction graphics (engineering and architectural photography), financial services, banking and now as a director of adult mental health.
His advice for other authors? The most important thing is that your book is written, and that there are plenty of self-publishing opportunities available to help you bring your book to market until other opportunities become available.
The response to “Adventures of Lexi the Giraffe and Friends: Lexi Goes to School” has been perfect, he said.
A mother sent her a photo of her 21-year-old daughter who had just bought a copy of the book for herself.
A grandmother told her that she had bought a book for her grandson. However, after reading the story, she decided to keep the book and order an additional copy for her grandson.
The book is currently available on websites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Author House and via www.theodorevalentine.com.