Parenting leads to laughs in new book

Writer, illustrator join forces; humorous item is great gift


A new book’s publishing date is Nov. 17 and the whole title is: “Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations,” which may impart a bit of the flavor.

Where else will you find a pie chart for “Where your kid’s food goes?” (Down front of shirt, wadded in napkin, submerged in glass of milk, in dog’s mouth, in pants pocket, smuggled to bathroom in mouth, then into toilet, etc.)

Divided into sections labeled Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math, the writer and illustrator who created the book address food, communications, other parents, schools, birthday parties, getting a toddler dressed and out the door and much more. (Funny for grandmas, too.)

It started as a parenting blog by Norine Dworkin McDaniel, who had been a freelance magazine writer until magazines all downsized, according to illustrator Jessica Ziegler, who has lived in Highlands Ranch for eight years.

The two met in Las Vegas when they both lived there — but didn’t want to raise kids there. Ziegler, whose dad is a New Yorker cartoonist, offered to illustrate the blogs with cartoons. A perfect match was made.

Norine now lives in Florida and, together, they have developed not only books, but an entrepreneurial approach to selling them.

Publishing has changed a great deal in the past 10 years, and this colorful new book was published by She Prints, which Ziegler calls a “hybrid” publisher. They don’t do the exhaustive editing that the big publishers like Harper do, although they do proofread. They don’t design a cover — Ziegler did that and illustrated the book with drawings, scientific-looking charts and graphs and a fine sense of humor. But, they help with distribution, getting books into Ingram, the major wholesaler for bookstores across the nation.

The creative pair of McDaniel and Ziegler have self-published (via Amazon) and sold two books of cartoon-illustrated tweets from parents, related to the blog — and contemplate another of those. This new book will go on the humor shelf at a bookstore, but also fits well in a gift shop or baby goods emporium. Any young parent will relate to it — it’s a great gift item.

The main means of generating sales initially for this pair is a series of house parties held by personal friends across the country — “from Orlando to Burbank,” Ziegler said (20 locations planned at this point). The trip started in Cincinnati Nov. 5, where a big-time sponsor gave them a kick-off party and supplies of Boogie nose wipes to go in goodie bags with other items for those who attend the parties. They’ll drive some and fly some because it’s winter — to both coasts and lots of states in between. Their itinerary runs through March.

In the Denver area, they will hold a launch party on Nov. 20 at Chinook Tavern, 6380 Fiddler’s Green Circle, Greenwood Village, which is open to the public, Ziegler said. She hopes the community will attend.


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