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Cobbtown mom publishes children’s book
Erin Cress to hold book signing Dec. 22
Erin Cress Book.jpg
Cobbtown author Erin Cress will sell and sign copies of her children's picture book, Open Your Eyes, Little One, at the Statesboro Mall location of Starbucks on Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cobbtown writer Erin Cress, author of the children’s picture book “Open Your Eyes, Little One,” will hold a book signing at the Statesboro Mall location of Starbucks on Saturday, Dec. 22, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The picture book has a cast of characters that resemble the author and her two daughters, Taylor and Kendall McDaniel, 7 and 4, respectively.

“After my divorce, I made it my mission to be the best mom that I could be,” Cress said. “When my older daughter struggled with a lack of confidence, I wanted to find a way to encourage her.”

Cress said her daughter had difficulty with ordinary tasks that she thought she couldn’t perform, yet she exhibited complete confidence in her art.

“I wanted to use her art to encourage her to try anything she wanted to do, to follow her dream and never give up,” she said.

Once the idea for the book came to Cress, it only took her two weeks to complete it, but months to get to the finished product.

Cress worked with an illustrator from England, Lucy Smith, and gave her explicit directions for the artwork.

Erin Cress.jpg
Cobbtown author Erin Cress is shown here with her two daughters, Taylor McDaniel, 7 and Kendall McDaniel, 4.

“We included lots of secrets in the book, things I wanted included that would mean something to me and to my girls,” she said.

On one page, the main character’s pajamas have seven vertical buttons, representing the age of her older daughter, and four horizontal buttons on the pocket, representing the age of her younger daughter.

“My girls and I love to go camping, and I wanted to include singing,” she said.

That page shows a mom and two daughters singing around a campfire, and the mom holds up a coffee cup.

“I love coffee,” she admitted.

On yet another page, Cress insisted that the illustrator include a church in the background scene of buildings.

“I’m a Christian, and I wanted that subtle message included,” she said.

The page she is most pleased with, however, is the one that depicts the main character in an art museum, paintbrush in hand, standing at an easel. Most of the paintings hanging in the gallery are actual drawings that Taylor completed, with one handprint art piece of Kendall’s.

Two of the gallery paintings on exhibit on the page were selected from entries to an art contest that Cress hosted over the summer for the book’s inclusion.

“The contest was a way to inspire kids,” Cress said, “the same way I want to inspire my own girls, to do anything they put their minds to.”

When Cress was satisfied with the artwork that took five months to complete, she self-published the book and began selling on her website in November.

Ever the entrepreneur, Cress also has a dog breeding and showing business in which she works with rare dogs, selling internationally. She is also the co-owner of a newly opened restaurant, Tarantinos Little Italy, in Swainsboro.

Books may be purchased from Cress’ website, www.openyoureyeslittleone.com, Amazon or on the day of the book signing at Starbucks. 

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