In 2009 I fulfilled a dream to publish a children’s book. It was the first book my son read out loud at four-years-old. I thought it was time to bring it into this website as I have done much with it in the past several years due to workload. Most don’t get rich from publishing books, but I sure had a great time. Inspired by my son, Austin, and his love of dinosaurs, we’ve published a book filled with dinosaur facts, chuckle-worthy illustrations by artist, Alison Seda, and a poem of easy tips to teach some basic manners and friendship ideas. The book is called, “Dino Manners.” It’s for kids ages 4 – 10. It helps them learn to be a good friend, resolve conflicts, stand up for themselves, AND learn about dinosaurs!
How did Dino Manners become a book?
Alison Seda and Susan Finch met in 1995 when Susan owned an art gallery in Laguna Beach, California. Susan was impressed by Alison’s talent and humor. When the idea for “Dino Manners” came to her, the first person she thought of to create the sweet and naughty dinos was Alison.
Susan had been working on the main poem and the concept that the book would include dinosaur facts, manners tips and a little bit about the color wheel. She has taught Art Lit at her daughter’s elementary school for two years. Through the courses, she realized how much the children enjoyed discovering one more element of books, even though they may have read them dozens of times.
“Dino Manners” is a fun way to teach children the basics of good manners and how to be a good friend. With the dinosaur facts and manners tips, children find something new and interesting each time they read the book.
Susan’s family camps regularly throughout Oregon. They are especially fond of the campground on the coast. Typically they stay in Oregon state parks. With the lush vegetation and open spaces, these family trips seemed like the perfect setting for the dinosaurs.
Next, we had to find line drawings to show what they really looked like based on dino digs. After thinking about it for a while, Alison added to her already daunting tasks. She decided that this book would be 100% our product. She didn’t want to owe anybody anything. We are also not fans at obtaining permission. It’s just easier to create it all ourselves. So we did.
Every illustration, line drawing, photo are originals. We hope you enjoy our work. We’d like to make it a habit and get moving on the next two books.
Who would have thought there was a rhyme for, “Oviraptor?”
A bit more back story: In 1984 college was calling and Susan wanted to fulfill a dream to write children’s books. She attended a Children’s Literature course with a couple of friends, knowing that was her dream. She never wanted to teach a classroom but wanted to create for children to get them excited about reading and learning in different, unexpected ways.
Her career took a turn for corporate and the world of advertising and public relations, another turn – antiques and travel across the country and still another to bring her to the art gallery in Laguna Beach where she met Alison Seda.
The love for children’s books had never left her and when she had her first child she began to spin stories regularly. One or two were loved so much that Susan created small personal books for her daughter, Savannah. They involved known characters, so on the shelf “Cinder Piggie” sits. It is still one of Savannah’s favorite stories, perhaps because of the horrendous Photoshop work on Miss Piggy and Kermit in this contemporary take on the old classic with a twisted Jim Henson spin. At least she knew she was NO illustrator and needed the help of a very talented and funny professional – ALISON SEDA!
As Susan realized the manners and graces we grew up with were becoming EXTINCT – something had to be done to make it fun again. Along the way, the realization that there were bigger issues than “which fork to use” that needed to be tackled. Kids were in daily conflict and needed a solution to stay calm and get through their days. This is what led to DINO MANNERS.
Meet Susan Finch, Author
Susan Finch had plans to write children’s books for most of her life. Along the way she got distracted and ventured into public relations and advertising. This distraction led to her current occupation of the past 19 years, marketing strategies, design, and web. The deep need to create is constantly moving in her. After having children, the stories were jumping out her head and into the children’s bedtime routines. They were always asking her to tell her same stories over and over. She finally decided to start writing them down.
Susan was raised in southern California and now lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her husband and two amazing children. They will never surpass Alison’s menagerie but have their share of animals with a dog, bird, and fish.
Meet Alison Seda, Illustrator
Alison grew up drawing feverishly at every opportunity on anything that was able to be pinned down. Her parents enrolled her in art lessons at an early age and continued lessons for years.
That intense love of drawing is still a vibrant and integral aspect of her life today and, “having children of my own and being able to share my art with other children just makes it all that more special for me”, “I mean really, who doesn’t want to make a kid laugh?” Alison currently lives in southern California with her husband and two wonderful, hilarious boys who are always dragging something new into the house or making something new to display in it for all to admire. Also residing with them are their cats, dog, unruly guinea pigs, fish, chickens and one very, very naughty rooster.
Get a rare copy of Dino Manners here.
Dino Manners is available by sending in a check or using Pay Pal with the links below. Portland/Beaverton area buyers can send in a check to save shipping and you can pick them up the next time you see Susan.
This is through PayPal. If you DO NOT HAVE A PAYPAL ACCOUNT, that’s OK, you don’t need one – after selecting your book, click on “ADD TO CART” and choose the credit card icons in the LOWER LEFT part of PayPal cart page. Choose to skip the options to open an account and it will be like any other purchase.
Susan will sign all books if you request it. Be sure to include a name if you want her to sign it or let her know NOT to sign it in the personalization field. Thanks!
Beaverton area events are being booked now. Schools are jumping on board for “Dino Manners” signings.
PDF ORDER FORM FOR CHECK ORDERS OR SCHOOLS.
Download orderform.pdf (273.4K)
Order the hard back: ISBN 978-0-578-04225-1
Order the paper back ISBN 978-0-578-04312-8:
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c/o Susan Finch (make check payable to Susan Finch, please.)
6490 SW Elm Avenue
Beaverton, OR 97005
check should be made payable to: Susan Finch
softback books $9.50 each
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