Menlo Park authors

Menlo Park resident Nancy Tomkins (pictured left) has been in the “content business” for years, working mainly for technology companies. A poetry class at Stanford inspired her to write her first children’s book, A Biscuit for Chocolate.

“I have wanted to write a children’s book for a long time,” said Nancy. “Biscuit is told in rhymes, so it really grew out of that Stanford class.”

She reached across San Francisquito Creek to tap designer Joan Hausman — a partner on a number projects over the years — to be the illustrator.

Now the two have formed Lions, Tigers, Oh My! to publish more “children’s stories with heart and soul.”

Biscuit is based on the true story of Nancy’s sister-in-law’s Dachshund. In the book, Biscuit lives a long and good life in partnership with an increasingly annoyed cat who plots to turn Biscuit’s stew to glue.

Both Nancy and Joan admit the book is a bit sad, but they hope the message of love and loss — and learning to never take anyone for granted — is a good one for children age three to 10.  “We tried to make it sad serious,” said Joan. “That meant no sad colors — just bright, happy colors.”

Writes Nancy in an epilogue: “Losing a companion animal is never easy but helping children deal with the loss is part of life…Talk about it openly. Show your children that it’s okay to experience sadness and that it is kind to express care toward all other living beings.”

For their next collaboration, they’re working on a story about a Golden Retriever who is a community organizer — that sounds like fun!

A Biscuit For Chocolate can be ordered online.

Photo by Robb Most (c) 2019

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