For Lakewood resident Jaclyn Amend, writing a children’s book was merely a way to encourage reading and promote a sense of wonder for her two sons.
Writing then became, in her words, a labor of love. Now, she’s the author of two locally-themed bedtime books.
(ABOVE: Some proceeds from Jaclyn Amend’s second book, Goodnight, Park Cities, will benefit the Ashford Rise School of Dallas. Photo by Ed Amend)
Amend wrote Goodnight Lakewood in preparation for the birth of her second son, born in 2017.
It’s in the style of the famous Margaret Wise Brown book Goodnight Moon, which has been read as a bedtime story to countless children across the globe since its’ publication in 1947.
In Goodnight Lakewood, however, the “saying goodnight” text focuses on landmarks in and around Lakewood.
“I thought it would be a cool idea to write something that had familiar places in it for my boys,” Amend said.
“I wanted to have something for when I had two of them to read to, and reading with them every night became a really special time for us.”
So much so, her children began recognizing landmarks from the book in their neighborhood.
“I wanted my kids to always be asking to go places, to see things, and the more we read Goodnight Lakewood, the less anxiety I saw towards leaving the house,” she said. “It was as if they knew the places they were going, and it wasn’t as scary since they read about them in the book.”
Sensing her book could be enjoyed in places other than her own home, Amend partnered with an illustrator and published a small run of Goodnight Lakewood books that she made available via a website.
“The response from our community has been so much more enthusiastic than we could have imagined, and we are constantly humbled and touched to hear of families spending time together reading our book,” she said.
In that spirit, she began writing Goodnight, Park Cities, a similar book that includes landmarks such as the Katy Trail, Highland Park Village, Caruth Park, and SMU tailgates.
It’s 32 pages in hardback, and Amend anticipates the books bound and ready to be distributed in 2019.
Amend also held a book launch party at the Moody Family YMCA in late October.
She and noted that five percent of all Goodnight, Park Cities sales would benefit the Ashford Rise School of Dallas.
“I don’t know if I consider myself a writer yet,” she said, laughing.
“Really, I just wanted something special to share with my boys. The fact that it turned into something that others can enjoy and benefit from is just incredible.”