At the viewing in the funeral home for Emma, a radiant young woman who died in her sleep at the age of 19 in July 2011, her family put out a number of things that visitors could look at while they waited in line to pay their respects. One of those items was a “book” that Emma wrote in first grade. It was called A Book Abot Chaps (phonetic for “A Book About Shapes).” It was hand-colored on lined notebook paper, and it looked every bit the product of a first grader, with many endearing, age-related mistakes. When people picked up and read the crumpled, stapled masterpiece, they laughed at Emma’s goofs in spelling and presentation as she displayed her version of the carkol, the dimind, and the scwar.
Seeing this warm reaction, the family decided to publish Emma’s A Book Abot Chaps as a tribute to her life. They felt that Emma becoming a published Amazon author would be an honor to her, and Wordsmith Associates agreed to help the family realize that goal.
The work to ready Emma’s information for publication involved more than one might imagine, in that there were numerous elements that needed to be scanned and cleaned up. Once that was complete, a colorful soft-bound booklet was created, and Emma officially became an Amazon Published Author on September 1, 2011, less than 2 months after her death.
As suggested, the numerous things that are “wrong” in A Book Abot Chaps are exactly the things that make it so right. From the perspective of someone older, the book elegantly depicts the wonder of a child learning something for the first time (albeit with mixed success). From the perspective of a first grader, A Book Abot Chaps makes perfect sense exactly as it is. For you, regardless of perspective, A Book Abot Chaps will bring a smile to your face. (Bonus: The verso pages of the booklet provide spaces for readers to use coloring to express their own chaps-related ideas.)
As an historical footnote, at the time of Emma’s death, she worked as a server at an establishment called Town House Books & Café, and was a beloved member of the “Townhouse Family.” Around the first anniversary of Emma’s death, the Town House owners created a Chaps Garden as a tribute to Emma. All of her chaps, including her renowned triangl (which looks remarkably like a rectangle), are created as brick borders in the garden to outline growing spots for a variety of items, including Lady Emma roses. Check out the Emma Mebane Chaps Garden in front of 105 N. Second Avenue in St. Charles, Illinois.
Paperback – ISBN 978-0-615-52092-6 – 5.5″ wide x 8.5″ tall – 20 pages – List Price $4.95