Enlightening Read

Indiana author Doherty engages
children with books

The native Hoosier likes to write about Indiana places

(December 2018) – When the third grade class at Pope John Elementary School in Madison, Ind., gathered on the carpet to listen to a story, they were intrigued when the volunteer reader pulled a picture book out of her bag. On its surface, the board book, “ABC Indiana,” by author Adriane Doherty, might have looked like one only toddlers would enjoy.
Any apprehension they felt quickly faded when they realized a place or person unique to their home state of Indiana was featured on every page. Hands began to fly excitedly into the air as the students rushed to tell their personal stories about the different Indiana treasures.

Photo by Julie Stockman

Author Adriane Doherty poses with two of her children’s books at Village Lights Bookstore in Madison, Ind.

On every page, the children looked for a rubber duck, which Doherty intentionally had placed somewhere within the illustrations. The duck was quite easy to find on the “W is for Wabash River” page as he swam with the fish in the river. Students had to study the “M is for Monument Circle” page closely before one student exclaimed, “He’s in the stars! He’s a constellation!”
The adults in the room learned something about their home state as well. The reader discovered the “Hoosier poet,” James Whitcomb Riley. Teacher Tammy Josephsen wondered about the Raggedy Ann connection to Indiana, which she intended to study a little more later.
Doherty, a lifelong Indiana native, enjoys these responses. “I would do story time and parents would come up to me and say, ‘I didn’t know that about Indiana!’ ” she says with a smile. Residing in Carmel, Ind., with her husband, Tim, and their three children, Doherty has worked for many years in the accounting and operations sector of the book publishing industry. She and Tim began Cardinal Publishing Group in spring 2000 to provide marketing, warehousing and distribution services for independent publishers. The business model was sound, offering personal attention to publishers and exemplary customer service, and Cardinal Publishing Group attracted high-quality publishing clients.
While she enjoys her role there as head of operations, Doherty has been continually drawn to writing for children. “I knew I wanted to do children’s books for years,” she notes emphatically. With a strong interest in non-fiction, her place-based books for children were a natural evolution of her talents.
Doherty’s most recent Indiana book, “Sweet Dreams Indiana,” was released in October from her newest venture: her own independent publishing line, Rubber Ducky Press. The hidden rubber ducks that so engaged the third grade class at Pope John Elementary School gave the inspiration for the name. Finding the rubber ducks provides an active element to story time that is especially good for children with attention difficulties, including ADHD and autism. But, finding the more difficult ducks is also plain old fun for readers of all ages, bringing to mind the “Hidden Pictures” sections parents and teachers may recognize from Highlights magazine. Doherty has published several ABC titles guided by the rubber duck, including “ABC Ohio,” “ABC Texas” and “ABC Christmas.”
“Sweet Dreams Indiana,” on the other hand, has a different role to play. Rather than engage children to seek and find, Doherty writes lyrical prose against the whimsical, imaginative artwork of illustrator Anastasiia Kuusk to soothe children to sleep. Little ones from all over the state of Indiana will feel at home as they drift off to a story about the places and sounds nearest to them. Children from Madison, in particular, will delight in finding Village Lights Bookstore and its familiar cats featured in their bedtime book.

Doherty’s books can be found at Village Lights Bookstore, 110 E. Main St., Madison, and online at www.cardinalpub.com.

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