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March 30, 2013

Bailey native publishes the first in a series of children's books

MERIDIAN — Everyone has a story – or two – to tell.

    And some, like retired educator Doris Jones, have the good fortune to have them published. The Bailey native has penned the first in a series of children's books centered around a frog character named Klondike titled "The Adventures of Klondike the Frog: Lost in the Woods."

    "I guess you could say this was one of the things on my bucket list," said Jones, who retired in 2009 after teaching English at Kemper County and Northeast high schools.

    "The first year after I retired, I wanted to complete something from my list of things to do; publishing a book was one of them," she said.

    Jones said she has written since childhood as a way of self expression.

    "I remember being shy when I was growing up, and I used to write alot," she said.

    "The Adventures of Klondike the Frog" series was conceived and written more than seven years. However Jones was hesitant about publishing any of the series' completed works.

    "I couldn't find the right illustrator," she said.

    Jones finally found someone through the publishing company, Xlibris.

    "The illustrator did it so beautifully; it was as though he could read my mind," she said.

    The children's book series is written for beginner readers and the stories focus on the common themes of caring, friendliness, sharing and learning to get along with others. The first book, "Lost in the Woods" is about Klondike's desire to do something better than everyone else.

    "He and his friends play hide and seek, and he wants to show them that he can find a better hiding place than everybody else, instead of just playing along with the other frogs," Jones said.

    Klondike does find a place, but he falls asleep.

    "His friends are looking for him, but he's sleeping so soundly that he doesn't hear them," she said. "By the time he wakes up, it's pitch black. He's in the woods, he's disoriented and just lost. He imagines all kinds of terrible things and becomes frighten when he hears the owl, thinking it's a monster."

    When the sun finally comes up, Klondike, who is still afraid, wonders what the light is.

    "He's awake and he's learned a lesson that's he's not going to forget. And he hops home quickly to be with his friends," Jones said.

    Two more books are ready for publication, however Jones said she would like the series' remaining book to be illustrated by someone from the local area.

    "The Adventures of Klondike the Frog (Lost in the Woods)" has been assigned a Library of Congress Catalog number and Jones will like it to be included in the area's school and public libraries.

    The children's book is not her first publication. Jones also wrote "Timeless and Eternal," a volume of inspirational verse.

    While focused on writing, Jones has not left completely left the classroom. She teaches adult basic learning at Meridian Community College. She is an avid reader and crossword puzzle enthusiast.

    Born in Bailey, Jones grew up in Georgia. She and her husband, James, moved back to her birthplace after he retired from the military.

    "The Adventures of Klondike the Frog: Lost in the Woods" and volume of inspirational verse may be purchased locally at The Bible Book Store and online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Books-a-Million.com and Xlibris.com

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