Arnold resident Bill Sharkey published his second children’s book in November. The book is titled “Can You Put Diapers On A Giraffe?” and introduces the reader to zoo animals while posing this question: could or should a giraffe wear diapers? The new book has the same characters, rhyming verse and colorful illustrations as Sharkey’s first book, “Can You Put Diapers On A Goose?”
Both books explore the elusive question about diapers although the second book was designed to be “a little more educational” to encourage discussion and learning. The books target children ages 2 to 6. Both books are inspired by actual experiences Sharkey has shared with his granddaughter, Reese. For the first book, the author and granddaughter were taking a walk and tried to get close to some geese, but were challenged as the ground was littered with goose poop. Sharkey suggested diapers on the geese would be helpful. The sidesplitting response from his granddaughter, then 3 years old, confirmed the idea of diapers on animals as a children’s book theme. “Can You Put Diapers On A Giraffe?” contains Reese’s reaction to seeing a giraffe in the zoo and its long tongue. “Somebody once told me, the best kind of books to be written come from real life experience,” Sharkey said with a smile.
Sharkey’s books are self-published, leaving him with the responsibilities of editing, illustrating, printing, copyrighting and marketing. While marketing his first book to a local school, Sharkey realized activities would make the book more useful to teachers and parents. With his second book, Sharkey included a crossword puzzle, a word search, giraffe facts, a coloring page, and a lesson plan for teachers and parents. The addition of educational activities seems natural given Sharkey’s experience as an educator for 40-plus years.
Currently, Sharkey is focused on marketing his books, both online and in local stores. He looks forward to a time when he can return to in-person promotions, such as book fairs and local school assemblies. Although Sharkey claims he is focused on marketing, “Can You Put Diapers On A Giraffe?” has an unexpected ending, leaving a hook for a third book. In addition, you never know where the real-life adventures with granddaughter Reese will lead Sharkey.
Visit www.sharkeybooks.com to view and purchase the children’s books.