ALTON — For Bailey, life is too short to miss out on adventures … especially when you are talking about dog years.
That premise is the story of “Golden Boy Bailey,” a new children’s book written and illustrated by Alton area author Erin Frew.
On Friday, April 22, an official book launch will take place from 6 until 9 p.m. at the Riverbender.com Community Center, 200 W. Third St. Frew will be doing a reading from the book as well of signing autographs at the event. There also will be activities for the children, as well as light refreshments for all in attendance. In addition, four-legged guests have been invited.
“It’s going to be a really fun event,” Frew said. “I’ve teamed up with Therapy Dogs International, who will be there with four groups of dogs to meet with students and children.”
The author actually wrote Golden Boy Bailey 10 years ago, while working as a toy designer on the other side of the country.
“After college, I spent some time living in California,” she said. “At that time, I was working for an inventing firm and was designing children’s toys.”
Golden Boy Bailey spent most of its time on Frew’s computer’s hard drive until just recently, when she was pregnant with her youngest child.
“I just had my third child, Oliver, who was born in August,” she said. “During that pregnancy, I just thought, ‘You know what? It’s time that I finished my children’s book.’ I started working on the illustrations, and it was published this February.”
Frew does all of the illustrations in the book, including the cover, and said she is happy it has allowed her to get back to her artistic roots.
“Doing the illustrations was really fun for me, because between running my retail shop, I’ve really gotten away from drawing and designing,” she said. “Doing the illustrations was very fulfilling for me. I was able to get to what I’m really passionate about, and what I love doing most.”
Golden Boy Bailey is a story of a golden retriever named Bailey who goes on an adventure with three of his fellow canines. The characters are based on actual dogs, who were all part of Frew’s life, as well as those of her siblings.
Growing up in Alton, Frew, her brother and her two sisters could not have dogs as pets because the family lived on a busy street and having a small back yard.
“Our house just wasn’t suitable for a dog,” she remembered. “Once we all moved out of our parents’ home though, and got into college, we all ended up getting dogs.
“The four of us have a special bond. The book is something I created for these dogs and as a gift to my siblings.”
Busy running her retail business and having three children under the age of 7, she isn’t planning on a follow-up to Golden Boy Bailey any time soon. She isn’t ruling out additional books, however.
“I’ve had several people ask me if there’s going to be a next adventure, or if this is going to be a series,” she said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
“Golden Boy Bailey” will be available for purchase at the book signing as well as on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites and through the publisher at friesenpress.com. The Grapevine children’s boutique in Alton also will sell the book.
For information, call (618)465-9850.