Boyle grad writes children's books

December 06, 2004|EMILY TOADVINE

A dog and some children Randy Graham has known inspired him to write a collection of children's books. Narrated by the dog Boomer, the stories are designed to give children self-esteem and teach them positive lessons.

Dressed in a light blue jacket with Boomer's likeness and a black turtleneck also touting Boomer, Graham, who lives in Frankfort, recently was in Danville with his books while he visited childhood friends and his uncle, Bob Miller. A son of state representative Gippy Graham, Randy Graham grew up in Danville and is a 1975 graduate of Boyle County High School. He played basketball at the high school while his father was the coach there.

After spending years working in insurance and telecommunications, Graham, 48, decided to launch the books series in May.

"I want to raise the self-image and attitude of children and teach them a love of family and country," he says.


Graham, who writes the books in poetry form, works with his friend, Larry L. Stafford, on illustrations. Stafford also handles the computer work. They decided to self-publish the series and have written 26 books of which 18 are in a "Born to Win" series and eight are in a building blocks series. They will have three new books coming out every three months.

They launched the series at the recent Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort. The books arrived from the printer too late for them to be part of the fair but were sold at the entrance to the book fair. They were pleased with their debut.

"We sold just under what the No. 1 bookseller for the day sold."

An appealing price

Graham thinks that in addition to content, the hardback, full-color books appeal because of their price of $7.99. He says a book of this quality normally would cost $12 to $16.

"We want to keep them in the price range for single parents to buy," he says.

Graham says he knew a lot of single parents while living at an apartment complex. He enjoyed playing with the kids when their parents brought them to the pool, and some of those children became the inspiration for the books.

Graham says children can benefit from the positive lessons Boomer, an English springer spaniel, gives.

"I started noticing that you didn't see the respect you used to," he says.

One of the children is based on his book partner's 5-year-old, Seth. Graham is a godfather to one of the characters, Jace. The other main character is Kayla.

The books are filled with messages such as "Obey your mom and dad" and "There's nothing you can't do." At the start of the first book, "You Were Born to Win," Boomer certifies a child as a Boomer Goodwill Ambassador for agreeing to: Be kind to others, obey parents, say please and thank you, say yes sir and no sir, say yes ma'am and no ma'am, share with others, keep his room neat and help others in need.

Geared toward ages 3-8

The books are geared toward ages 3-8.

"If you get to these children early, they can believe in their own ability to achieve," he says.

The books also have a message for adults.

"Maybe people who didn't learn these lessons will pick them up as they read to their children."

With their success guiding them, the author already is expanding his product line. Boomer climbs aboard his dream swing to start the stories, and a Dream Swing bookcase is in the works as are musical selections.

The swing is an important symbol, Graham says.

"He always climbs on his dream swing because we want to teach children to dream," he says.

The main thing for Graham is that he have a positive influence on children's lives. "We're excited because we feel like we're in a need area."

For more information on Bedtime Boomer's Positive Lessons on Living, see

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