Parents juggle work schedules with valuable family time constantly. The desire to stay home with young children and the need to head off to a job outside the home plagues many families where both parents have jobs away from home. Castle Pines North residents, Lee Ann and Bryan Hilgendorf were no strangers to these struggles. With two children, Samuel age five and Savannah age one, Lee Ann hated to leave them for her job as a programmer with 5280 Solutions.
It was while reading stories before bedtime that Lee Ann and Bryan’s idea began to form. Avid nature lovers, the Hilgendorfs were always on the hunt for a children’s book that talked about nature from the perspective of a younger child. Unable to find one, Bryan invented Orville Oak. From there, the idea grew into a fun children’s book about Orville and his many friends. “We wanted to create a fun nature book for kids,” said Lee Ann.
While still working at 5280 Solutions, Lee Ann began writing the book. The process wasn’t easy. There were many late nights and lunch hours spent looking for an illustrator and publisher. When Lee Ann finally made the life change to stay home, the adjustment of working outside the home to staying home with the kids wasn’t an easy one either. Working on the book provided Lee Ann with the balance she needed. Now, Lee Ann, Bryan, Samuel and Savannah couldn’t be happier.
Orville Oak and Friends tells readers about creatures that live in and around an Oak tree. The book’s illustrator, S.B. Dow drew Orville and his friends bright and friendly, captivating children with the cartoon like characters. While hearing about the friends that come to visit Orville, readers are introduced to such characters as Molly Mole, who needs sunglasses when she comes out of her hole, and Wanda Walking Stick. The Hilgendorfs are already planning more stories about different trees and their friends.
To purchase the book visit Borders at the Park Meadow’s Mall location, The Tattered Cover and Petra Petite’s in downtown Castle Rock. The book can also be purchased on line at www.mindtreebooks.com.